Pop singer Mika has shared an image on social media which show posters for his Italian concert tour defaced with a homophobic slur.The gay British-Lebanese star posted the image to Instagram, showing a poster for his Rome concert sprayed with the word “frocio”, the Italian equivalent of “faggot”. https://instagram.com/p/6Ix9OOziBq/ While ANSA reports Mika, whose real name is Michael Holbrook Penniman, Jr, initially ignored the graffiti, he wanted to use his social media reach as an opportunity to speak out against hatred and prejudice. His accompanying tag, #RompianollSilenzio, asks people to “break the silence”. https://twitter.com/mikasounds/status/630125204656791552 The photograph has since received in excess of 22,000 likes on Instagram, and 16,000 retweets on Twitter. Mika tweeted on Sunday that the hatred of some people is best ignored, but he had been touched by the participation and public support against “homophobic slander”. “Love does what it wants”, he adds in another Tweet. While Italy still fails to recognise marriage equality and basic rights to inheritance, social security and property in LGBT relationships, there has been an outpouring of support across the country for the Grace Kelly singer. Italian rapper Fedez told his 777K Twitter followers that homophobia and dullness were “close friends”. “These things should not be ignored and you know it ... It is very serious thing,” tweeted @alle_mika_the_best. Mayor of Florence, Dario Nardella, tweeted that “Florence is not a homophobic city”. While unconnected, on the other side of the globe, the parents of two bisexual teens in New Jersey responded to homophobia a similar way, turning an offensive slur left on their garage as an opportunity to spread a message of tolerance and equality by repainting their garage door with rainbow coloured panels. https://instagram.com/p/5mKPq8ziFE/ Words by TROY NANKERVIS.
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