Words: Alastair James; picture: ScotRail
In the most heartwarming news of the day, ScotRail have praised an employee who issued a sharp comeback at a Twitter troll who criticised the company’s Pride-themed train.
Oh, how we love to see good examples of allyship! And we’re convinced they deserve a pay rise…
In a statement issued to Attitude today, the company said they’re “delighted that our people feel empowered to be bold” after the employee – known only as Ste – put the critic in their place last week.
“Please educate yourself on the matter before commenting such nonsense”
Ste’s clap back occurred on Friday (26 June 2021) after a troll questioned why the company had painted one of their trains in the 11 colours of the Progress Pride flag.
Unveiling the train, one of Ste’s colleagues wrote the day before: “Our commitment to support the LGBTQ+ community goes way beyond Pride month. Our #PrideOfScotRail train will wear this design until it needs [paint] in 2029!”
In a since-deleted tweet, the critic in question reportedly replied: “I take it you’ll also be painting one in ‘straight’ colours? Or will we be discriminated against?”
Seven minutes later (we checked) Ste replied with: “Straight people aren’t punched in the face for holding hands with their life partner, nor are they executed in other countries simply for being straight. Please educate yourself on the matter before commenting such nonsense. ^Ste.”
Ste has since gone viral for his comeback, with many applauding him for standing up to the ignorant comment.
The tweet had amassed nearly 16,000 likes and more than 2,000 retweets at the time of writing. It also earned a lot of respect from other users with one saying: “Ste needs a pay rise”.
Ste needs a pay rise pic.twitter.com/yRWiYu6EIw
— Rob McDowall FRSA (@robmcd85) June 26, 2021
ScotRail’s full statement to Attitude reads: “The response by Ste in our social media team, to a ridiculous comment that has no place in society, was fantastic and we are delighted that our people feel empowered to be bold and challenge this type of behaviour.
“Scotland’s Railway is for everyone and the unveiling of our Pride of Scotland Train was a way for us to demonstrate our support for Scotland’s LGBTQ+ community.
“That visual commitment of our support served as a reminder that we won’t tolerate bigotry or discrimination and regardless of background or your identity, you should feel welcomed and safe when travelling.”
We love Ste and thank him, and ScotRail for their support of the LGBTQ community.
Speaking to Attitude, Ste said: “I’m truly delighted to see such an overwhelmingly positive response in regards to my comeback. It was such a ridiculous comment to make, I felt I had a duty to not only call it out, but to educate this person at the same time.
He says he didn’t even think about how his comeback would go down, “I just wanted to lay out the points I made and help get my point across, to show why our Progress train is needed. I had no idea the tweet would go so viral. I’m very pleased to say I work for an inclusive employer in ScotRail. Diversity and Inclusion is a big priority here.
Ste said in regards to the statement provided to Attitude by ScotRail (above) their support for the community has had him “smiling for days.” He added, “It’s great knowing ScotRail are so inclusive and support the LGBTQ+ community, I’m proud to work for an employer that’s a true ally to the community.
On what others should take away from the experience he said: “Honestly, just think before you speak. Asking questions about why the LGBTQ+ community have Pride is fine, we’re happy to answer that. However, to say straight people are discriminated against because they don’t have a train dedicated to them in straight colours, that’s just purposely trying to undermine the cause.”
The Attitude Summer issue is out now.