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Ben May YouTube

A police officer who popped the question at London's LGBT+ Pride in front of thousands of revellers now regrets it for a heartbreaking reason.

You probably remember the viral video of PC Phil Adlem stepping away from the parade to get down on one knee last year. His proposal quickly became a symbol of hope and acceptance with London Mayor Sadiq Khan among those to congratulate the couple.

But ahead of the annual event - taking place 8 July - Adlem has said in a piece for The Guardianthat the messages of support he received quickly took a sick turn to online abuse.

My smile did not last long as I continued reading. 

'Both should be hanged till death', 'Absolutely disgusting' and 'Don't blame Isis if they strike them!' 

There were countless more, some with threats. 

Sadly, Adlem is no stranger to homophobia. On his 18th birthday, he suffered a brutal homophobic attack where he was "dragged down a narrow alleyway by three men and severely beaten without a chance of defending myself."

Now one of his life's most important, positive moments has been spoiled too. But Adlem is remaining positive, writing for the Guardian:

I know I am lucky.

I am lucky to live in a time where I can join the police service an openly gay man - and I have previous generations to thank for that. 

Though Adlem knows his situation is preferable to that of many gay people across the globe, he believes the abuse he suffered should stand a warning against complacency.

He wrote: "For every person who wants to attend Pride there is a reason why it is still important."

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