UK Lawmaker Trolled After Posting Photo With Boyfriend on Valentine's Day

by Kevin Schattenkirk

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday February 17, 2021
Originally published on February 16, 2021

Luke Pollard and James Sydney Robertson
Luke Pollard and James Sydney Robertson  (Source:Luke Pollard MP / Instagram)

U.K. Minister of Parliament Luke Pollard received comments from homophobic trolls after posting a photo with his boyfriend James Sidney Robertson on Valentine's Day, BBC reports.

Pollard posted the selfie with his boyfriend Sydney to Twitter, the couple smiling with the sea as their backdrop.

Apparently, some took issue with the fact that Sydney looks younger than Pollard, some trolls using British slang for pedophile. One commenter wrote, "he looks 12 years old, you should be locked up."

A supporter pointed out the hypocrisy of "those who bemoan the perceived 'age gap'" without mention of the same when it comes to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, age 56, and his fiancé Carrie Symonds, who at age 32 is 24 years younger.

Pollard explained to BBC, noting that the couple have been together for several years, "Sydney is a few years younger than me, and, because he's from Chinese heritage, he looks a few years younger than that as well."

Despite the trolls, Pollard did say the couple has received a lot of support, and with other same-sex couples responding with photos of their own. "Me sharing a picture of me and Sydney going on a walk with Plymouth Sound in the background, it's no different to any of my friends' picture," Pollard said. "It's exactly the same thing [but we just happen to be gay]."

On Monday, Pollard poster a thank you message on Instagram: "Thank you to everyone who got in touch to lend their support, love and kindness after my Valentine's Day photo of my boyfriend and me was seized on by trolls and the far right. It seems not everyone got the memo that #valentinesday?? is about love not hate. Sydney and I are doing fine and we are not letting the trolls get us down. Just confirms the eternal truth that #loveislove - thanks to Tenor for this image."

Kevin Schattenkirk is an ethnomusicologist and pop music aficionado.

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