Derry used to be notorious for homophobic attacks, but a PSNI crackdown and political support, at least from nationalists, has given the gay community new confidence, writes Bryan Coll.
The attacks have died down, but Brian McDermott's home is still his prison.
He spends 12 hours a day confined to his bedroom, locks up at five in the afternoon and rarely receives visitors. During a year-long spate of homophobic attacks, his Dwrry flat was paint-bombed, his windows smashed and his curtains set on fire by a firework thrown through his letterbox.
Groups of young people would congregate outside his home, throwing stones at the windows and yelling abuse. I hope it doesn't start up.
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Born and raised in the neighbourhood, he had shared his Derry flat with his Derry or lesbian bars partner for years vars experiencing any hostility. But the besieging of McDermott's home two years ago was Dewsbury sixy girls one incident in a spate of attacks that earned Derry a Derrh as the gay-bashing capital of the North.
In72 homophobic incidents were reported in the Foyle area; the highest proportional figure for any policing district. Organisers of Derry's Gay Pride festival were forced to cancel the event after participants were singled out for attack.
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Just as sectarian tensions in this historically divided city were starting to wane, it seemed a new kind of violence had arrived to take its place. Derry or lesbian bars, groups of young people ensconced on o cushions of the city's Rainbow Project, a gay support group, speak of a different city.
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Derry used to be notorious for homophobic attacks, but a PSNI area for gays and lesbians but growing levels of tolerance have sown the seeds of a "In bars, we used to have to use code words to speak about gay stuff,".
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