Formula One star Lewis Hamilton has been praised for his actions at the Brazilian Grand Prix in the week following Saudi Arabia’s incarceration of bloggers following the Nov. 2 disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Taking to Instagram on Wednesday, Hamilton appeared to offer encouragement to Matilda and Kelly, two young transgender girls who were sitting near him in the Grand Prix’s grandstands as he watched Sergio Perez drive the Williams ahead of him. In his post, Hamilton shared two pictures of the girls, with one noting the girls were now part of a “family” and welcoming him to their “future together.”
Mum doesn’t take a lot of photos of these girls anymore, so this is the result 😊 pic.twitter.com/ldvw8tMoqA — Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) December 12, 2018
In the caption, Hamilton, who turns 36 on Friday, notes that his Instagram followed suit, and became “the first Instagram I’ve supported with a post that is not some kind of product endorsement.”
Much support for you, @lewishamilton 👏 💖
Sharing this with @emi_instrumenta .
Sharing your 👌 with the world 🙏
Love, always love 💘.
You go boy. @_matilda_ and @kelseylauriepic.twitter.com/J9ljIVMZly — Constance van der Hoeven (@connotenthooven) December 12, 2018
At the time of writing, the post has been liked over 170,000 times, receiving over 10,000 comments.
Hamilton was referring to stories of Kelly, 17, who has begun to pursue her own run at becoming a real-life Barbie, and her friend Matilda, 13, who has appeared in pink Lady Gaga-inspired school uniform, in an attempt to “reboot the gender binary” and claim a place in the “female” gender category, as many teenagers do.
Kelly has used her growing fame to launch a disability rights campaign — the thread below refers to her case as “a massive thing.”
Hamilton praised the girls on social media and was initially met with a negative reaction, with social media users suggesting he should not be taking to Instagram and other platforms at all.
In a follow-up video posted on Instagram, Hamilton opens up about the importance of family for him, and how proud he is of the “future heroes” he would be passing to his daughter.
“I really am really happy for you girls,” Hamilton says, “it’s been a really, really tough week … but the thing is, the girls came here [to Brazil] and I really felt like I saw myself in them. It was unbelievable, like wow, I can relate to them, I can understand how they feel because I do the same.”
He noted he “really didn’t feel any kind of pressure or fear to do anything” or make a public statement, and thanked his followers for their support.
Read the full story at BBC.
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