harassment

Reporter shares homophobic messages he received after posting photos of him and his boyfriend

Ben Hunte became the BBC’s first LGBTQ correspondent last year. He regularly reports on sexuality, gender, and other LGBTQ issues. Sadly, however, this often makes him a target for homophobic online abuse.

Yesterday, the out 27-year-old said he received “hundreds of homophobic and racist messages” in the last week alone. Not only that, but online trolls somehow got ahold of his personal cell phone number and have now been harassing him on WhatsApp.

Hunte tweeted a screenshot of the hateful messages he received from one person in particular. In it, an anonymous messenger beleaguers him with questions about his sexual orientation.

“Can you briefly tell me about yourself, why you thought a man was fit for your sexual life?” the homophobe asks. “Really? Why do you choose to be gay? … Let’s get this settled.”

The messages came shortly after Hunte shared photos of him and his boyfriend celebrating at Brighton pride earlier in the month.

But this sort of harassment is nothing new for Hunte.

During a Student Pride panel earlier this year, he talked about the negative treatment he receives for being both Black and gay.

“In all honesty I have never received so much abuse in my life,” he said. “The difficulty with that was I knew it was going to be bad, but I didn’t know it was going to be that bad.”

“What surprised me most was the lengths people would go to to find me. I had one email that said, ‘Since when did the BBC allow negroes to present the news?’”

After sharing the nasty messages this week, Hunte received an outpouring of support from followers.

Scroll down for pics of Hunte and his boyfriend, Tom…