Updated at 2.45pm
The “cure” for gay entertainer Chucky Bartolo is an assault rifle’s bullet to put him out of his misery, according to one of several hate messages he has received over the past months.
Another social media user believes Mr Bartolo has mental issues or was “abused in the lift as a kid” – accusations that the LovinMalta host condemned because it made light of abuse victims.
Malta’s LGBT community might have made great strides in recent years but the online resentment and hateful stereotype directed at gay people still persists.
Other messages aimed at Mr Bartolo tackle “pre-conceived notions” of how a man should behave or look, he says in Times of Malta’s #stophate campaign.
For the last month, the campaign has seen personalities reading out the hate messages levelled out at them on social media.
The project also seeks to raise awareness of the impact hate speech can have on its recipients and the responsibilities that come with freedom of speech.
“I cannot believe that we are at a point where we have to ask people to stop spreading such negativity online… You may have noticed that I’m human so these messages do get to me,” Mr Bartolo says.
However, he is especially concerned about young LGBTIQ people who look up to him but might feel they have to change when faced with such comments.
The Facebook user who had suggested an assault rifle as a “cure” for Mr Bartolo told Times of Malta he had been misunderstood.
“What I meant is that if he actually shot a gun, he would feel manlier as opposed to be into makeup and dressing up,” he told Times of Malta.
He said that he has now apologised to Mr Bartolo.
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