Iconic Melbourne Shop Flooded With Support After Battling Homophobic Haters Online

No more haters.

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Melbourne zine retailer Sticky Institute has had a bloody busy time over the past few hours. The shop attracted a slew of homophobic online hate after pledging its support for the Yes campaign in the upcoming postal survey. But, in a true testament to the strength of the LGBTQI+ community and its allies, a flood of supporters have clapped back. *Wipes away tear*

It all started when Sticky Institute took a public stance on Twitter, Facebook and in the shop against No campaigners. The shop put up a supportive Yes poster, and then sent the following statement out to its followers via Facebook and Twitter: “If you vote ‘No’ in the forthcoming plebiscite, please never visit our shop again.”

The statement has caused a bit of a controversy on the shop’s Facebook page, where No campaigners (and just boilerplate homophobes) have taken up arms against the zine retailer. The comments section of the post, where Yes and No campaigners are battling it out, has become a bit of a trashfire, and No campaigners have flooded the page with negative reviews. However, many of the shop’s patrons are fighting back, leaving 5 star reviews and supporting the shop.

The shop’s staff seem to have a pretty good attitude about the flood of abuse, but one staff member, Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen, called out for assistance against the flood of abuse.

Since their original post, the shop’s staff have followed up with a couple of statements, including the following on Facebook, affirming their original position.

“In light of yesterday’s post we would like to remind everyone that Sticky has always been a political queer artists space. In this sense we have always reserved the right to eject anyone we feel may be harmful to our patrons or the shop itself.

We are not the thought police, you can think and say whatever you want but we do not have to tolerate you or welcome you into our space. We are a shop made up of extremely dedicated volunteers and we will always do what we can to keep our community safe.

Please try to be good to each other and of course we want you to vote Yes.”

The shop has also been singling out some of the better reviews left on the site since the homophobic attacks. It’s worth pointing out that Sticky is a radical, progressive, underground zine shop. Its support for the Yes campaign is entirely in line with its ethos, and is unlikely to aggravate many actual patrons of the store.

The Sticky situation is very similar to a recent scenario in which MRAs took up arms against indie Brisbane bookshop Avid Reader, after the shop shared a post about feminist author Clementine Ford’s new book deal. Basically, the internet can be a pretty scary and intense place, team. Take care of yourselves!

Featured Image: Twitter/Sticky Institute