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I’m an 18-year-old Brexiteer, so what? Stop making me feel like a racist dinosaur. Like many others who voted, I’m not

DEATH threats, online abuse and fury in the streets: I'm only 18, but these are the sorts of things I put up with every day.

I've not committed a crime or tried to be offensive – in fact, all I've done is express my opinion on the biggest political decision most of us will face in our lifetime.

And these days, that's enough to get you into all sorts of trouble.

I’m a young Brexiteer. So what?

The idea of someone voting Leave being automatically a racist is ludicrous.

I’ve been called an "age-traitor" for not conforming and people like me are often painted as a tiny minority, when actually 45 per cent of young working-class voters ticked that "out" box in June 2016.

I grew up in Portsmouth, I have always been interested in the world around me, and this interest turned to to politics during the European elections in 2014, watching people like Dan Hannan and Nigel Farage make impassioned speeches in the European Parliament sparked my interest in the Brexit debate.

In the run up to the vote I was 16, so although I couldn't vote, I campaigned on streets of Portsmouth and Chichester, going door to door leafleting and setting up market stalls on the high street.

Both areas voted to leave, but the more vocal supporters of remain were out there creating a toxic environment.

I was shouted at and called a racist. That's pretty hard to hear when you're not even 17.

One of my mates had the Brexit badge he was wearing ripped off his chest.

The day after the referendum, I went into school as usual. The friends who knew I'd  campaigned for Brexit were furious with me.

Not because they were worried about the UK's place in the world, or their freedom of movement.

No – my mates were worried about Nando's closing.

They'd come across a story on Lad Bible that said the Portuguese restaurant had claimed "every chicken we import will have to have its own passport and a visa".

As a result, they worried it’d have to shut down across the UK.

For my part in this they called me a "fat-nosed c***".

I'm at college now and I think I've managed to persuade some of my classmates that we're on the right path.

But what really annoys me is the fact that the mainstream media ignore young Brexiteers.

There are plenty of Leave voices from my generation yet young people are drowned out of debates and a huge majority on the Left think that everyone under 50 voted to remain.

Websites like Lad Bible and Uni days are prime news sites for young people, but they are as reliable as Brietbart or The Canary.

The misinformation through viral posts on Facebook about Brexit add to the vitriolic atmosphere in Britain.

Remaoner politicians fuel this toxic attitude; repeating the doom mongering creates a self-fulfilling prophecy and a feeling that all leave voters have destroyed their future.

I set up the Politics UK YouTube channel to create a platform for young voices and was lucky enough to interview Remainer Alastair Campbell about Brexit.

Campbell accused me of being a 'Brextremist', but I’m used to insults from school children.

My channel has reached millions of young people – over half my audience are under 35 – but having an online platform opens the door to thousands of trolls.

One charming Reddit poster said that people like me deserved to have our throats slit.

And I've been accused of everything from being a racist to a Jewish and/or Russian spy.

My friends are a mixture of Leave and Remain, but we are all Brexiteers now.

My generation need to get over the vote and try to make a success of Brexit.

Since then we've had to learn to nod, smile and move on: sticks and stones and all that.

Everyone else seems to be allowed to express their views – and just because mine happen to be unfashionable among people my age that doesn't mean they shouldn't be heard.

I felt, and still do, that the EU was too controlling and that it wasn't accountable enough and the direction the EU was heading in didn’t make any sense to me.

I thought the time had come for change. Why is that so wrong?

Brexit supporters aren't evil xenophobes. And those young people who did vote to leave aren't traitors.

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