What's the best way to respond to hate? With love, and oodles of glitter, of course!
Web developer and digital artist Nick Hurley was walking home from work in Manchester on 3 August, with a plan of dropping off his bag, getting changed and then heading to meet a group of friends to all head to the Brighton Pride festival for the weekend.
On his way home, he'd stopped off to pick up large quantities of glitter to help the celebrations of the coming weekend really go well.
Here's Nick sporting some of his favourite sparkle:
However, sadly enough, a few homophobes were determined to ruin his vibe.
As he was walking along Manchester's hot streets, a car load of men hurtled past him, and yelled a homophobic slur right into his face.
Needless to say, his response was epic. Taking to Twitter in a now viral post that's had nearly 18,000 retweets, he said:
If you think it’s okay to shout “f****t” at me out of your car window while you drive past, then I think it’s okay for me to empty a tube of glitter through that window when you stop at the traffic lights.
Your casual homophobia has supergay consequences.
When the homophobes got made to stop at a red light, Hurley took the opportunity to glitter bomb them good!
Writing about the experience for Medium, he explained what happened:
It might’ve been the sunshine, it might’ve been the absolute exhaustion from a week of work, or maybe it was just the use of that word in such close proximity to my plans of spending the weekend celebrating the exact opposite of the hate it evoked.
I was overcome with white-hot rage. Their car came to a stop at the traffic lights, and I managed to catch up to them as they became gridlocked in Manchester’s congested Friday evening traffic.
Armed with a bag full of glitter, a head spinning with creative rage, and an escaping window of opportunity, I acted.
Emptying a tube of glitter through their open window. It was such a gratifying, and visually whimsical response to their prejudice.
A punishment which seemed fitting for the crime.
After his tweet gained traction, he used it to ask people to donate to the LGBT+ charity Stonewall.
Some people were critical of his use of glitter.
However, true to form, his glitter was biodegradable.
Most people loved the idea of fighting against hate with glitter.
Despite the light-hearted way he retaliated, Hurley was keen to point out that he's fighting a serious fight, and that the repercussions of homophobia can be deadly.
Continuing in Medium, he wrote:
Personally, as a gay man, I’ve struggled with depression my whole adult life.
I have no doubt that my depression stems from difficulties with my sexuality and facing constant rejection from society.
Today marks 100 days since my last serious suicide attempt.
Thankfully, I’m doing better now, and am able to face hate from strangers with the gay abandon of glitter, but had that spiky word caught me a few months ago, this could have been a totally different story.
To sum up, he quipped:
So the next time you see someone abusing a gay person on the street, call them out.
Just make sure you’ve got a tube of glitter in your pocket, because a little bit of sparkle goes a long way in a world full of hate.
We couldn't agree more, Nick!