A Milton, Massachusetts gay couple enduring years of homophobic harassment has finally identified the person behind the attacks. As it turns out, one of their “friendly” neighbors wasn’t so friendly after all.
LeeMichael McLean and his husband, Byron Furze, spent five years putting up with bizarre magazine subscriptions, sent to their home using homophobic names. The couple also had to deal with bill collectors trying to cash in on their unwanted subscriptions.
“It was upsetting and we didn’t know when it was going to stop, or if it would advance to something more,” McLean told WCVB News. “And it was an annoyance because I had to follow up on all of them.”
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Their half-decade of harassment finally came to an end by a recent lucky tip. Recently, a Boston Globe subscription card arrived at their home, addressed to “Michelle Fruitzey,” a homophobic play on their names. An examination of the card turned up their harasser’s handwriting, and the couple finally had a reliable lead.
McLean posted a photo of the card to social media in hopes that someone in the area might identify the handwriting. He also turned the card itself into police. A keen-eyed tipster happened to recognize the writing from a signature book among the members of the Milton Town Meeting, a local civic group. Police followed up on the tip, and their suspect confessed to the crimes.
For McLean and Furze, the harasser’s identity came as a shock.
“He says hi to me,” McLean says of the seemingly friendly neighbor. “We’ve had casual conversations. I spoke with him about a week before that last card came about work that was being done on his house. I was running by his house and stopped to have a chat. Never would have suspected it.”
Police have not yet charged the suspect with any crime, though he may still face harassment charges. They have also not released the harasser’s identity to the public.
Meanwhile, McLean and Furze have turned the local scandal into a charity drive. The couple began selling T-shirts with “#iammichellefruitzey” printed on them. Proceeds from the sales go to Gay-Straight Alliance at Milton High School and Pierce Middle School. Thus far, the couple have raised more than $15,000 from the sales.
how stupid of the neighbor.
shows you that folks can easily be two-faced.
Imagine the deep-seated homophobia that fueled this petty harassment for so long. You’d think over 5 years the neighbor would realize that the gay couple down the street are nice people. The neighbor must be a closet case.
What is it with every damn second article, it’s about American picker guy….. like, let it go already! Queerly, you getting lazy!
You must be lost. I think sending Queerity an email directly would work better.
Why are they protecting the harasser? If they were harassing women, the harasser’s name would be printed everywhere
I came here to say this. The name of the couple is in print, yet not the identified harasser.
Proof that QUEERTY is a blog of reprints, not a community produced investigative news source or media entity acting on the better interest of our due safety & respect….merely impersonating one.
Withholding the name makes ZERO sense; he’s admitted to it, so no liability there. Unless the guilty neighbor is a minor? Nope…he only behaves like one—resentfully peeking thru the accordion doors from inside his closet.
QUEERTY, yet again, maintains the status-quo.
Hats off to the both of you for turning this disgusting event into something positive to bring awareness to the next generation. There has to be some consequences for these neighbors? 5-years is a long time. They were not only harassing you guys but these phony subscription costs those companies time and money. What about your time rectifying the fraud I’m sure it has monetary value too. Thank you for sharing it helps everybody realize things are often not what we believe. Good luck selling those shirts and bringing light to the high school.
Imagine having a life so devoid of interest that you expend lots of time in this type of harassing, childish nonsense. Miss Terri, talking to you and the other worthless bigots who can’t seem to get enough gay in their life. Waste your time in the men’s rooms like the rest of you closeted trash.
I wish I could be surprised. But in all honesty, I can’t. People do that all the time. Guess I will just wait for the follow up story where the guy blames it on the Ambien or alcohol.
1. The “harasser” is a self-hating homosexual.
2. The two-facedness was voluntary, unlike prior centuries of gay people who had to put on a “straight” face in order to survive.
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