Pop singer Mika fought back against a blatant act of homophobia by using social media to bring attention to it.

This past Saturday (August 8), Mika posted a photo on Instagram showing that one of his tour posters advertising his upcoming Rome show had been defaced with the word "frocio," the Italian equivalent to the gay slur "f--ggot."

Although Mika's initial gut reaction was to ignore the slur altogether, he ultimately chose to bring attention to the defaced poster in order to spark a larger conversation about homophobia on social media. He addressed his decision to do so on Twitter, writing in Italian (translation via Boy Culture), "I saw the photos and my instinct was not to do anything, because hatred, which I know very well, would be better off ignored. But let's break the silence! I have no fear of those who discriminate against me—no one should. Love does what it wants.”

The hashtags #rompiamoilsilenzio (let's break the silence) and #lamorefaquelchevuole (love does what it wants) started trending on Twitter in Italy soon after. The mayor of Florence was reportedly forced to recognize the uproar and publicly apologized, before having the poster removed.

Mika later tweeted again in Italian, writing, "The reaction and support against the idea of homophobic slurs has been heartwarming and strong beyond imagination. It's a testament to popular desire for change and progress. This is about far more than me, my defaced posters. This is about everyone. Looking away is a luxury. Some people have nowhere to turn in the face of intolerance. I am amazed and inspired by these events.”

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