HOMOPHOBIC attacks haven’t deterred Witham residents from planning its first ever Pride event.

Residents were shocked after a LGBTQ+ flag in a salon window was egged six times.

Many businesses are now displaying bespoke 'Witham with Pride' stickers in their windows, and planning is underway for the town’s first Pride event, due to be held in August.

Donavan Kempen, a hairstylist at Feathers hair salon, in Newlands Drive, said taking down the flag was "not an option" despite the repeated attacks.

Braintree and Witham Times: Support - 23 businesses across Witham are displaying Witham with Pride stickersSupport - 23 businesses across Witham are displaying Witham with Pride stickers (Image: SWNS)

The 30-year-old said the egging has happened sporadically ever since they put the flag up almost two years ago.

He added: "We we decided to keep it up as a symbol to anyone that the salon is a safe and judgment-free place.

"It was sad to feel like something that symbolises the group of people I belong to was being targeted in a hateful way.

"Sadly [Witham is] clearly not as open and diverse as I’d originally thought."

Braintree and Witham Times: Homophobic attacks - The stickers were created after a Witham salon was egged six timesHomophobic attacks - The stickers were created after a Witham salon was egged six times (Image: SWNS)

Alex David spotted a post about the attacks against the shops on Facebook which led him to design and print 50 ‘Witham with Pride’ stickers, asking business owners to display them in their shop windows.

So far 23 businesses on the high street and across the town are now displaying the stickers and Pride flags in windows in solidarity with the town's LGBTQ+ community.

Alex, who only moved to the town last year, said: "I am openly gay myself and it was very welcoming to see that Pride flag in Feathers, so when I saw it was egged - I took it a bit to heart."

Along with the stickers, Alex and two friends are now organising a family-friendly Pride event at Witham Town Park on Saturday, August 26.

Braintree councillor Angela Kilmartin was suspended from the Conservative party after commenting on Donavan’s Facebook post.

She said she did not want “sex flags” on her high street and that she was “sick of this insistence of flaunting sexuality in ordinary public life”.

Ms Kilmartin previously said: "I have not commented as a councillor.

"I am sure that all the townspeople of Witham value democratic freedoms within the law - I do."