The winner is…

The winner of the #endeverydayhate competition is…

‘Don’t Touch My Hair!’

This portrayal of the frustration of strangers constantly touching the afro hair of the entrant has won the iPad by attracting the most votes on social media.

The story that goes with the image is:

‘Growing up with an afro I was always getting touched by strangers who would just walk up and put their hands on my head and touch or fluff up my hair as if I was some sort of dog they could pet. I hated it but most people didnt ask if they could touch my hair they just did it so I didnt have a chance to say no. I almost never wear my hair out in an afro anymore. I made this picture by drawing over an old photo where I look like I’m screaming because thats how I felt sometimes.’

Thank you to all those who entered their stories and images. They were all great entries and can be read here:

My Father, She

 My father transitioned to become a woman in my late teenage years, I love her to pieces and have always supported her but it was a real challenge to deal with the change and what it meant for my family.

I was also struggling with my own sexuality and trying to come to terms with that as well as anxiety which meant that I still felt a huge need to hold my fathers’ hand when we were out and about. We were just walking to the shops and a car full of young men drove towards us, slowed down and rolled down their windows to shout ‘Lesbians’ at us. Whilst Lesbians doesn’t have to be an insulting thing to say, the way they said it and for me the fact that someone had just called me a Lesbian, with my biological father was just completely overwhelming and so impossibly mad to comprehend! What makes people think that its acceptable to judge other people for the sake of a 3 second joke that they will clearly forget once the turn the next corner?

It’s something I still think about, and is still a difficult memory, and I wanted to share to show that even if what is said doesn’t itself sound that bad, the way things are said and just people giving unwelcome and unnecessary judgements can still be hugely painful.

Speak Up and give a voice to those who have none.

I was attacked in the street in Paisley town centre, surrounded by friends, with lots of people around me. I was punched in the head and knocked to the ground. The reason, shouted at me about 2 seconds before it happened? I “look like a Jew.” I am Jewish, and I was born in Scotland. I am Jewish, and I have studied and worked and volunteered in Scotland. I am Jewish, but I don’t feel at home in Scotland. Antisemitism is on the rise in the UK, fuelled by differing political and social agendas and used as a political football rather than treated with sensitivity and respect and willingness to learn. It infests our homes and our schools, our political parties and our public institutions – ever present, rarely understood, hardly tackled.

My attacker was 16 years old. 16. And his entire worldview was shaped by Jew = Bad. 16, and in a country that I know is more open and tolerant than the rest of the UK. 16, and so sure in his view that he attacked a young Jew in the street, with tens of witnesses. He didn’t care if he was seen.

This has to end, it must end – next time, rather than getting knocked out and my ego being more bruised than anything else, it could be my life at stake.

I make no apologies – This is Me!

My story is of inspiration and realising that dreams can become reality regardless of discrimination, prejudice or hate.

My auntie Gail was born with down syndrome and throughout her life has had to overcome stares of disapproval or judgement. Her needs and hopes were no different to any other child and from an early age all she wanted to become was an actor and star on stage.

When 18 years old Gail applied to a drama group providing them with her name, age and gender and was warmly invited to join the group with a place promised to her in advance. On her first night she went with excitement looking forward to the possibilities of future stardom, however was confronted with looks of disappointment before being ushered from the hall. My gran taken aside and told Gail was not suitable to be part of the group that no longer had space. Her only mistake failing to disclose her disability.

Gail did not allow this experience deter her with it making her more determined to fulfil her dreams. She continued to work hard and was given the opportunity with Cutting Edge Theatre group and in 2016 gained a lead role within a play at the Edinburgh festival. Recently she completed a successful tour of Scotland as the lead actor in a play centred around her life experiences and continues to flourish and bring happiness to everyone she touches.

The hard reality is that life and people can be cruel. We are all unique and regardless of race, religion, sexuality or disability must learn to respect each other’s choices and embrace our differences. By learning from our mistakes, together we can change attitudes and make a more positive future. I personally have taken courage from Gail’s example when faced with adversity.

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