Manchester lord mayor ‘subjected to homophobic abuse at Justin Bieber gig’

Carl Austin-Behan says he was abused by two young women and has reported incident to police

Carl Austin-Behan, lord mayor of Manchester
Carl Austin-Behan, lord mayor of Manchester, says he faced ‘really offensive’ abuse at a recent concert. Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian

The lord mayor of Manchester has said he was subjected to a barrage of “really offensive and hurtful” homophobic abuse at a Justin Bieber concert on Sunday night.

Carl Austin-Behan, Manchester’s first openly gay lord mayor, said he was called a “dirty faggot and a dirty gay” by two young women before the sold-out gig at Manchester Arena.

Speaking to the Guardian on Monday, the former RAF serviceman said he had reported the alleged hate crime to police. He said the offenders appeared to be in their late teens.

A spokeswoman for Greater Manchester police said: “Shortly after 7.30am on Monday 24 October 2016 police received a report of a hate crime that occurred on Hunt Street in Manchester city centre at around 6.50pm on Sunday 23 October. Inquiries are ongoing.”

Bieber drew criticism from some fans for appearing to storm off stage. The Canadian singer, 22, had pleaded with the audience to stop screaming between songs. He told fans: “I don’t think it’s necessary when I’m trying to say something and you guys are screaming.”

When the noise continued, he dropped the microphone and walked off stage before later returning to continue his performance.


Describing the incident with the two women, Austin-Behan said: “I’m in a privileged position at the moment as the lord mayor and one of the things I’ve stood my ground on is that we need to make sure we report hate crime and get that message across. The fact of highlighting that it’s still out there – however small it is, you still have to report it – because there are still people out there who feel it’s all right to be abusive.

“I’m quite a strong person, I can take that. But if people are still saying those things about someone’s sexuality, I find that really offensive and hurtful. It’s important that we stand our ground and that we demand the respect we should get. It may seem trivial to some people, a bit of name-calling, but it’s highly offensive.”

Austin-Behan, who was sworn in as lord mayor in May, said he was walking to the arena and saw the two girls arguing with a ticket tout when one of them allegedly said: “I’m not paying that to see a dirty gay.”

He added: “As I walked past them I thought ‘I’m not happy with that’ so I turned round and said: ‘Do you think that’s appropriate, in this day and age?’ That’s when the barrage of comments came back [saying] ‘Am I gay? Am I gay? Am I a dirty faggot?’ and all that sort of stuff that started coming out.

“I was annoyed. I wasn’t shaken up, I was annoyed. Because it was a Justin Bieber concert there was a lot of young people there, and it was a mix of people. I was more annoyed that people could go to a gig like that and feel they could get away with saying things like that.”

Austin-Behan, who is also the youngest lord mayor in the 124-year history of the role, has told how he was thrown out of the RAF for being gay.

He was fired from the air force in 1997 when his then partner told RAF bosses about his sexual orientation in order to stop him being posted abroad. Rules preventing gay people from serving in the RAF were overturned in 2000.

After an 18-month stint working for Manchester fire service, Austin-Behan was crowned Mr Gay UK in 2001. The councillor for the Burnage ward has since worked as a small business owner in Manchester and runs a cleaning company with a business partner. He married his partner of 12 years, Simon Austin-Behan, last year.

One thought on “Manchester lord mayor ‘subjected to homophobic abuse at Justin Bieber gig’

  1. QUOTE Austin-Behan, who was sworn in as lord mayor in May, said he was walking to the arena and saw the two girls arguing with a ticket tout when one of them allegedly said: “I’m not paying that to see a dirty gay.” UNQUOTE

    Obviously the bitch was not referring to the Lord Mayor of Manchester with the expression “dirty gay” but was referring to Justin Bieber!

    Now I am confused (and normally I am not that easily confused I must say, being used to silly and stupid things), because why go to a gig of a “dirty gay” when you have no interest to “pay to see a dirty gay” at all?
    What were the two bitches doing there anyway? They didn’t want to pay for seeing a “dirty gay”!
    Were they there to be “raped”? To be kidnapped? To play the whore? To create a riot? To cause trouble for anyone?

    Perhaps a solution to prevent these kind of creatures to even be anywhere is to have them removed from society at all, and have them put in a cage, and ride them through the streets as the scum that they are! And then at the city-center have them burned!
    (the same thing that the ancestors of these creatures did with gay people!)

    Yes, harsh action I agree, but these kind of creatures will not change, not by counseling, not by meeting gay people and listening to the stories of suffering that they cause, and not by smashing their faces to pulp!

    And yes, put the parents of these kind of creatures in the same cage, and burn them on the same fire stack as their daughters!
    The parents of these scumbags failed in their parental duties of bringing up their daughters to the state of being good and sensible members of society, and they, the parent are as guilty of the filth these two bitches stand for!

    My Opinion!


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