A gay couple was shocked at the hateful messages they recieved after anonymous strangers trolled a photo of their family, taken as part of the ‘Love Has No Labels’ campaign.
The photo was posted as part of a sponsored Instagram campaign created by the public service advertising group, the Ad Council, to spread a message of diversity and acceptance.
The sponsored post shows dads Jason and Anthony Henderson-Strong with their five-year-old son Marcelino, captioned with one of the campaign’s taglines, ‘Love has no gender’, and a quote: ‘Our family is no less than any other family’.
Despite the grinning, trilby-sporting five-year-old in the center of the ad, conservative audiences have been sharing vitriolic comments on the post since it was uploaded.
‘the Kids adopted into family’s Like this have to grow up confused and people may make fun of those children [sic],’ one commenter, angel.jacob wrote.
jojofancy posted: ‘I don’t understand why they didn’t have a daughter that poor boy doesn’t have a chance to choose what he wants to be he’s automatically gonna grow up thinking being with another man is ok [sic].’
The couple spoke to Gay Star News About their outrage, Anthony explained his shock at the reaction to the photo.
‘As a celebrity fashion stylist I’m used to people’s opinions regarding my work but am shocked by so much negativity and how people are using religion to support their bigotry regarding my family,’ he said.
‘In reading some of these comments, I found it interesting that the people who have the most negative comments always have their pages private.
‘A lot of the negative comments come from “religious” people who have concerns about Marcelino becoming gay and sometimes I do write back and let them know that he has a great life.’
‘With that being said, Jason and I choose to focus on the overwhelmingly positive support and love that we have been receiving from family, friends, and even perfect strangers. The positive outpour overshadows the negativity.’
Jason explained he is avoiding reading the comments on the photo, and keeping Marcelino safe from any hateful remarks.
‘I choose not to give my energy over to people who hide behind social media as a way to insult me and my family,’ he said.
When asked what they would say to the trolls posting on their family photo, the dads’ message was clear.
‘Get a life. We are living our life and I suggest they do the same.’