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The Independent used a stock photo of a same-sex couple in a story and homophobes lost it

By Will Stroude

At 3.35pm on Wednesday 25 January 2017, The Independent newspaper posted a fairly innocuous article about sleeping habits on their Twitter feed.

Entitled ‘Here’s what your sleeping position reveals about your relationship’, the post soon sent the Twitter users into a frenzy.

Why? Because the newspaper used a stock image of a sleeping same-sex couple to accompany the story.

Sadly, the small but symbolic decision by a picture editor to portray a loving same-sex couple alongside a story about relationships sparked a homophobic backlash from some narrow-minded Twitter users, who couldn’t seem to get their heads round the fact that LGBT people are in fact people too – and people with sleeping positions at that.

“This picture is disgusting”, wrote one user.

“Another LBGT agenda picture without reason,” added another.

One criticised The Independent’s picture editors for daring to normalise same-sex relationships, writing: “Do your staff realise what prats choosing that picture makes them look?”

Thankfully, many others were quick to congratulate The Independent on their efforts to diversify the images they use to accompany news articles.

“A black gay couple used as an image. Nice. This is a step in the right direction. #RepresentationMatters“, wrote one.

Another expressed the hope that one day such a picture would not be considered controversial, writing: “It shouldn’t have to be brave to put a picture of a couple on an article about couples, but here we are. Good on you.”

Many took the fight to the homophobes themselves, hitting back at claims there was no reason to portray a same-sex couple alongside the story.

“Why should there be a reason? Nobody ever asks for justification of the thousands of images of straight couples we see every day”, argued one user.

Another summed it up perfectly, writing: “Two people, in a relationship, sleeping. Totally encapsulates the story.”

Kudos to that picture editor at The Independent – keep it coming please.

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