Not only does the WHOF group on Facebook provide support through its community, Kevin and the admin staff help with the problems people are going through at the ground level. They have literally saved lives. “One I spoke to until 4 am,” Kevin told me, “until I finally persuaded him to wake his parents. He was in hospital a few days but made a full physical recovery.”
WHOF is not just about closing pages down; it is about education, and it is about changing attitudes. And that has happens within its LGBT membership. “A year ago we ran an article about a trans woman,” Kevin said, “and in the comments we got 30+ transphobic comments. I worked with Emma Bailey from Tform and through education and information we got that down to zero transphobic comments. That was a huge achievement, which I am very grateful to Emma for. Also this week we hit the total of 3000 homophobic/transphobic and biphobic pages removed from Facebook, with Facebook’s help.”
The WHOF group is a tremendous achievement. It has taken the problems raised by social media, particuarly the anonymity that it allows, and created a bulwark to that. “The admin of WHOF are amazing,” Kevin acknowledges. Lyndsay Winegarden is a disabled single mother who lives in Canada and also runs the 27k strong group STOP Teenage Suicide. There are also the campaigners Rush Derr and William Conard; the trans campaigners Vikki Marie Gaynor and Emma Bailey; and Matthew Desmond and Kit Beckles. Kevin, and the staff that work with him, should be thanked and praised.
I want to give Kevin the final words.
“The might of WHOF is being felt this week especially, as with the launch of The L Project’s charity single, multiple posts before and after the launch meant that it is number one in many charts, such as folk and rock, on iTunes and Amazon, and in the top 40 of most download charts. The money raised is going to Diversity Role Models and Stonewall so lives will undoubtedly be saved.
“My hopes for the year ahead are to continue to spread awareness, educate via the help and info pages on www.whof.net and support those who need it.”