Cou­ple say bus driver was ho­mo­pho­bic

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS -

A BUS com­pany has launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion af­ter a cou­ple claimed they were sub­jected to ho­mo­pho­bic treat­ment by a driver.

John Mullarkey and Steven Cros­bie say a driver made an of­fen­sive ‘limp wrist’ ges­ture and flicked the V sign at them, af­ter they got off a First Manch­ester to Hey­wood ser­vice on Mon­day.

The cou­ple say the driver had first seen them hold­ing hands be­fore the jour­ney, as they queued at Shude­hill Sta­tion, and closed the door in their faces as they went to board.

John and Steven ran up to the next bus stop, where they were able to board the ser­vice, but say the same driver was then ‘abrupt and ar­ro­gant’ to­wards then.

It was shortly af­ter, when they were get­ting off in Hey­wood, they say the driver made the of­fen­sive ges­tures.

First Manch­ester has pledged to carry out a full in­ves­ti­ga­tion af­ter the cou­ple made a for­mal com­plaint.

Steven, who works at McDon­ald’s, said: “He was thank­ing the cus­tomers in front of us, but he was just very abrupt and ar­ro­gant with us... as he drove away he was also shout­ing some­thing at us, but as the win­dows were closed we couldn’t hear what it was.

“I was bul­lied for five years in school for be­ing gay, but it’s 2017. It shouldn’t be hap­pen­ing.

“It’s not the first time this kind of thing has hap­pened since I left school, but it is the first time it’s hap­pened on pub­lic trans­port, that’s what shocked me the most. It was 100 per cent ho­mo­pho­bic.”

John, who works in in­sur­ance, came out last year and says this was the first in­ci­dent of ho­mo­pho­bia he has ever ex­pe­ri­enced. He added: “For it to come from a bus driver, it didn’t feel nice.”

A First Manch­ester spokesman said: “We are tak­ing this al­le­ga­tion very se­ri­ously and we are now con­duct­ing a full in­ves­ti­ga­tion.”

John Mullarkey (left) and Steven Cros­bie say they were sub­jected to ho­mophopic abuse

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