11:20am Friday 5th April 2013
By Lydia Johnson
WHEN I picked up the Metro before boarding the train to work on Thursday I was overjoyed to see its front page.
The news that Greater Manchester Police will begin recording offences against members of alternative subcultures as hate crimes, in the same way they do attacks based on race, religion and disability, is so welcome.
This is all thanks to the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, which has campaigned tirelessly since the death of 20-year-old goth Sophie in 2007, who was attacked while walking through a park in Bacup, Lancashire.
However, I’ve read comments online that show some people don’t see this as good news - they think that because a person chooses to dress in a certain way that they shouldn’t complain when they are attacked, either verbally or physically. Some say they should even expect it.
I don’t need to say how ridiculous this is - a person should not expect abuse because they chose to follow gothic, punk or any other style that makes them stand out from the norm.
In the past I’ve been sworn at and spat at in the streets and have been physically assaulted a number of times because of the way I’ve chosen to dress or style my hair, and so have so many of my friends.
On one occasion, when I was still in school I reported the bullying to a teacher, who later phoned my mom to offer his kind words of ‘maybe your daughter shouldn’t dress so weirdly’.
Sadly enough, after a while, you do expect it every time you leave the house - but how does this make it right? Why should a person change the way they want to look because some idiots can’t handle the sight of someone looking different to what they’re used to?
So yes, people do choose to dress a certain way and can choose to change how they dress - but why should they have to change?
Of course everyone deserves the best protection from the police, but it is just a sad fact that if you dress in a way that stands out you become an easy target.
I just hope the good news doesn’t stop with Greater Manchester Police.
To find out more about the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, visit http://www.sophielancasterfoundation.com/
Comment about your experiences and vote on the poll below.
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group