A British Minister of Parliament received abuse online for a Valentine’s Day message of love for his boyfriend he posted to social media. MP Luke Pollard posted a picture showing him and his boyfriend, Sydney, along with a Valentine’s Day message to Instagram. A few commentors took exception to the loving portrait of the two men, though, and responded with some hateful comments.
“He looks 12 years old,” wrote one commenter. “You should be locked up.” Others called Pollard a British slang word for pedophile.
"Sydney is a few years younger than me, and, because he's from Chinese heritage, he looks a few years younger than that as well,” Pollard explained later to the BBC.
One supporter of the post called out “those who bemoan the perceived ‘age gap’” but fail to do the same with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, 56, and his 32-year-old fiancé Carrie Symonds, who lives with the prime minister in the official residence at 10 Downing Street.
Despite a few trolls, Pollard told the Plymouth Herald his social media was filled with messages of support, with many responding with posts of their own same-sex partners.
“Me sharing a picture of me and Sydney going on a walk with Plymouth Sound in the background, it's no different to any of my friends' pictures,” Pollard explained. “It's exactly the same thing [but we just happen to be gay].”
The British MP remained undeterred by the abuse, and instead later took to social media with another post to thank his supporters and remind everyone that love is love.
Thanking everyone who reached out with “their support, love and kindness after my Valentine’s Day photo of my boyfriend and me was seized on by trolls and the far right,” Pollard assured his followers he and Sydney are “doing fine and we are not letting the trolls get us down. Just confirms the eternal truth that #loveislove.”