A man has posted an open letter to his little sister’s bully after she was told it was “disgusting” she had a gay brother.
Joseph Flinders, from Manchester, composed his response on Facebook after sibling Lola, 11, told him what had happened.
The 21-year-old said admitted he was angry when he began the post, but that as he wrote it he began to feel sorry for the bully.
Joseph Flinders, 21, and his sister Lola at Pride in Manchester
The letter was accompanied by a picture of Flinders and his sister enjoying the Pride parade in Manchester last month, as he goes on to say how proud he is of his “accepting” sister.
It reads: "An open letter to the odious little toad who gave my baby sister a hard time for having a gay big brother. I just wanted to give an example of what a decent upbringing looks like.
"This is a photo I took of us at the gay pride parade, which she asked to attend with me. I think that's pretty cool of an eleven-year-old, don't you?
"I've never known such an accepting, compassionate, loving child and I don't want your hate-filled existence making her any less than she is.
"I'm not confrontational but this is a nerve I wouldn't touch if I were you. Thankfully, you're a dying breed and I imagine this is the last generation that'll have to endure narrow-minded tools.
"I think she's pretty great and she's prouder than ever to tell people her brother is gay. So enjoy spreading hate to nobody that gives a toss."
Flinders' mother also joined the fray...
Since sharing his response, the Facebook post has had more than 400 likes and 67 supportive comments.
Including the one that his mother, Debra Brown wrote: ""You have to feel a bit (and only a teeny weeny bit) sorry for kids like the 'odious toad' mentioned…because they weren't born homophobic; they are obviously being influenced by family members…
"I am so proud of you as my son and as a really lovely, hard-working, intelligent and extremely funny bloke.
"I am equally proud of my little Lola, who is the sweetest and sassiest girl I know."
Lola told her brother she had been approached by the unnamed bully who overheard her talking to her friend.
Flinders, who is a radio producer, told BuzzFeed: "I noticed Lola started getting a bit teary one night so asked what was wrong and she said she didn't want to tell me because I'll be upset.
"I said I doubt it, Lola, it's not very easy to upset me - but she was right, it did upset me – because she was upset about it.
"I responded in a way that made it seem a lot smaller that it was because I didn't want her to know that I was sad for her.
"I started to think about what I was saying in the post and I felt a bit sorry for this kid – he's not got a bloody chance, he's destined to be like the generation before him, which I'm sad about, but it's not his fault.
"You're not born homophobic. Lola was such a clean slate so when I told her I was gay it was no issue because it's not an issue until you're taught it's one."