Gareth Peter, a children’s author who wrote a book about a child with gay dads, has shared some of the vile, homophobic comments he has received on social media to make an important point.
Peter published My Daddies earlier this year – and it wasn’t long before homophobes crawled out of the woodwork to send abuse his way.
He shared screenshots of barbed, anti-gay comments he received following the publication of My Daddies on Twitter on Thursday (1 July) to show why we still need Pride.
One homophobic commenter told Peter that his book “will not go far as is [sic] a distorted image of family”.
“I genuinely pray for you to see the light of God’s love,” the commenter wrote, suggesting that his book about a loving family will affect children for generations to come.
“Why oh why do you feel the need to shout about your sexuality its [sic] irrelevant to writing a book,” another person commented on Facebook.
One anti-trans commenter chimed in: “And we wonder why kids can’t even tell what gender they are.”
My Daddies author Gareth Peter didn’t know just how needed his book is
Gareth Peter said the comments show just how important it is that kids’ books like My Daddies are published.
Speaking to PinkNews, he said he has seen many people question whether Pride is still needed – but being targeted with homophobic comments drove home just how important it is.
“Even though I am thankful for our UK rights, as it allowed me and my partner to adopt, Pride is still something we desperately need,” Peter said.
“I started talking about my picture book, My Daddies, early last year in several Facebook groups. I was overwhelmed by the love and enthusiasm for it. But it wasn’t until I received a handful of ‘interesting’ comments that I truly understood that books like these are still very much needed.”
More LGBTQ+ representation will allow these kinds of comments to vanish in a puff of rainbow smoke.
While the comments saddened Peter, he wasn’t overly surprised by them either.
“I am hoping that more visibility of LGBTQ+ representation will help this and allow these kinds of comments to vanish in a puff of rainbow smoke,” he added.
Gareth Peter wrote My Daddies about his experience of adopting two children with his partner. It was illustrated by The Dinosaur That Pooped artist Garry Parsons, who is also a gay dad.
Peter, who is from Nottingham, told BBC News in May that he was inspired to write the book after he and his partner noticed there was a shortage of children’s books with LGBT+ parents.
“I think it’s essential children are able to see themselves represented in books,” Peter said at the time.
“Schools are changing their policies around teaching relationships and sex education and I think it’s important there are colourful, fun, vibrant books that talk about a whole spectrum of families.”
The latest round of anti-gay abuse hurled at the gay children’s author came as Pride Month – which is celebrated throughout the month of June – came to a close.