A lesbian and gay choir staged a mass singalong on the tram network in Manchester, England last night to show support after two gay men were targeted in a homophobic attack by a group of approximately 15 men, reports The Guardian.
The Safe to Sing (#SafeToSing) event started with about 80 singers boarding trams in the city center to belt out tunes including ‘Somewhere’ from West Side Story and Petula Clark’s ‘Downtown’.
Volunteers gave out rainbow coloured cupcakes from a box marked “Cake Not Hate” as the tram driver explained over the PA what was going on.
#safetosing a brilliant riposte to homophobic hate crime. Proud of Manchester!— Debbie Lye (@Debolye) November 18, 2014
Manchester Lesbian & Gay Chorus (MLGC) members disembarked at Piccadilly Gardens, where Manseau and Heaton were attacked two weeks ago.
The choir were joined by the Hallé ensemble, the Manchester Community choir, Blackburn People’s choir, the Manchester Bach choir and other groups from the north west.
Although neither of the victims felt up to attending the event, Jo’s mother, Jacqueline said:
“To think that all these people have come out tonight for my son. It’s just a pity the rest of the world isn’t so kind.”
She added that her son is still “in a bad way” but was really touched at the action.
Manseau has told the Manchester Evening News that the attack “has destroyed every bit of confidence I have. It will be a while before I go anywhere on my own. I don’t know when I’ll feel safe to go into Manchester again.”
MLGC co-chair Kath Fox said the event was “a way for us to reach out to Jo and Jake and to assure them we will defend the right to safe passage on public transport for all people, especially those from the LGBT community. Out of the ugliest circumstances, the most meaningful and powerful messages emerge and that is what we hope to achieve with Safe to Sing.”
Watch a Vine of the singalong as well as a longer video of the group singing "Defying Gravity," AFTER THE JUMP...