My current Face profile pic contains the words "I am Repugnant". It was a word a DUP MLA used 6 years ago to describe all involved in Pride.
He is a person I have meet in social and political contexts before and after he was aware of my sexuality. Last night Arlene Foster said that nobody is defined by their sexuality. During the break on the first debate on Marriage Equality in Stormont I was in the queue behind that MLA in the canteen. I greeted him, he turned around recognised me and then noticed the LGBT+ Lib Dem badge on my label.
His response was "Oh, you're one of them" and he turned on his heel. Until now I have not let the BBC journalist who was present 2 metres away use that story.
Today I feel it needs to be told. Jim Wells attitude towards me from the times we meet before he knew my sexuality and after has been markedly different. This is the personal face of the institutional homophobia that the DUP's elected reps present. Many of them block anyone who asks about LGBT+ issues on social media. Many refuse to answer any enquiry we ask as their constituents after we have raised an LGBT+ issue previously.
Arlene Foster has also said there is no need for her to apologise. Sorry Arlene, while many of us have always been respectful to our elected representatives from your party, being nothing but courteous in how we address them, they have blocked, ignored and shunned us in person. I have experienced this face to face on a number of occasions from Mr Wells and others.
THAT IS WHY the LGBT+ community in Northern Ireland NEED AN APOLOGY from the DUP LEADER. The ball is in Arlene's court.