A small town is standing up to hate in a very big way

Rainbow wall in Penzance
Emily Apple

After a spate of homophobic graffiti, a small town decided to stand up and promote the message that there’s “No Place for Hate” in the community.

It started with a rainbow wall. An LGBTQ+ group of young local people was granted permission to paint a rainbow wall at the local recreation ground. But within weeks, and in two separate incidents, the wall was defaced with homophobic graffiti.

The local community responded by standing together to say no to hate. And now, they’re organising a festival on 26 October in the town to spread the message.

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Free 2 Be Penzance

Following a solidarity gathering of the local community at the wall, Free 2 Be Penzance was set up to:

build a community of likeminded people, that strive towards acceptance and equality across the board.

It is a:

community organisation dedicated to allowing the people of Penzance to be free to be themselves without fear of hatred or discrimination.

No Place for Hate festival

The group has now organised a No Place for Hate festival. Taking place at a local primary school on 26 October, the family-friendly day-long festival will include bands, food, drink, face painting, and a bouncy castle.

And it’s spreading an important community message. One of the organisers of Free 2 Be Penzance told The Canary:

I am overwhelmed by the support of the community here. It just goes to show that from hate, love CAN shine through and that is our message. We are a group that stands against discrimination across the board. No matter your colour or personal opinions we strive for equality and an inclusive society where no one should be made to feel ashamed to be who they are.

A community standing together

Anonymous bigots thought they could get away with intimidating a community. But they got it very wrong. Instead, the community has come together and is fighting back against all forms of discrimination.

Free 2 Be Penzance, and the festival it is organising, sends a clear message: homophobia and hatred are not welcome. People will stand together and hate will only make us stronger.

Get Involved!

– If you’re in Cornwall, come along to the festival at Pensans Primary School, Penzance. The festival runs from 12pm – 9pm.

Featured image via author’s own

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