ADRIAN McCRACKEN has paid a high price for his high-profile gay role in Ulster society.
As head manager of the gay man's advice group, The Rainbow Project, Adrian has been fighting to abolish the prejudice against homosexuals in Ulster for five years.
"I've been spat at on the street, had bottles thrown at me when leaving the office and received numerous threatening phone calls," he said.
"There is huge prejudice against gays in Ireland. I even had to move to London for 10 years so I could really express myself and live my sexuality.
"In Ulster I can't dress or look the way I want to because people think I look gay. I dye my hair and have an eyebrow pierced.
"On one occasion I appeared on TV to talk about gay men in Ireland. I was only on for about 30 seconds but the next day when I was walking down the street in Belfast people were jeering at me and one person even came up and spat on me in the middle of a crowded street.
"There was another occasion when I left the office late at night and was attacked by a gang of youths who threw bottles at me and shouted four- letter insults.
"To be honest, that's just a normal occurrence for many gay people in Ireland.
"A lot of the prejudice comes from very religious people but an equal amount of abuse …