Gay adult shop Clonezone shuts down claims it staged ‘abhorrent’ attacks
Author: Chantelle Billson
Manchester gay adult shop Clonezone has dismissed claims it staged a series of attacks on itself after police arrested a suspect.
Clonezone has been the victim of three allegedly targered attacks in recent weeks that have seen its windows smashed.
On Wednesday (10 May), a 32-year-old man was arrested by Greater Manchester Police (GMP). He currently remains in custody and enquires are ongoing.
Topher Taylor, head of public relations and social media at Clonezone, told PinkNews staff were “happy” to be informed of the arrest and are grateful for the support from the police.
He noted that the attacks come as the LGBTQ+ community us “villainized and targeted” by politicians and in the UK press.
“I’ve seen gloating accusations from supposed gay rights campaigners, alluding [to] these attacks [being] our own fault for supporting trans people, and even someone saying, with full confidence, that we did this to ourselves in order to pick up press and money, which is both factually and intellectually dishonest.”
He urged the queer community and its allies to stick together against any discrimination.
The attacks on Clonezone left the store’s two front windows shattered and shook the confidence of the local LGBTQ+ community.
Taylor said: “My first and foremost concern was (and is) the safety of our team members. Glass windows can be repaired but it was vitally important to me that all of the team at Clonezone Manchester were safe, both physically and mentally.”
He added that the shop has worked tirelessly to keep the business open as usual, and that staff have been overwhelmed by support from “everyone from MPs, to LGBT Foundation, through to RuPaul’s Drag Race stars and loyal customers”.
The store’s staff appreciate everyone who has been in contact, he added, “and the unapologetic way that so many have spoken out in support of a sex-positive business, which is run by queer people, for queer people, has been touching and inspiring”.
Announcing the arrests, chief inspector Adam Wignall said: “The attacks at this premises were abhorrent and our officers have been working hard to identify those responsible for these shocking incidents.
“Our local neighbourhood team have been investigating all potential leads and we hope this arrest shows that we are determined to clamp down on this sort of criminality in our communities.”
According to the shop’s website, Clonezone is the UK and Europe’s first gay superstore, which originally appeared in the UK in 1982 via a wheelbarrow full of fun “must-have” items, in Earl’s Court, London.
Police are asking anyone with information about the incident to get in touch by calling 101 or using the live chat functional at www.gmp.police.uk and quote log number 2955 of 24/04/2023.
Alternatively, information can be provided anonymously through CrimeStoppers on 0800 111 555.
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Actual Story on Pink News
Author: Chantelle Billson