The Real Tragedy of the LGBT Youth Shelter Vandalized In Queens

Sure, it’s obnoxious that the shelter for queer youth, operated by the Ali Forney Center, was targeted in a graffiti attack. But while the vandals tagged the building with the words “We don’t want gay people here,” they also wrote on the building’s front door: “Gay shelter.” Really. Pointing out the obvious is all you’ve got? I’m so tired of vandals sneaking around in the night writing dumb juvenile shit on our stuff. If you’re going to torment the fags, at least get creative and write a poem about sin or draw a mural depicting us eating da poo poo. C’mon, you’re better than this!

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  • A.G.

    This brings to mind the recent destruction of a rainbow flag at Manhattan’s GLBT Community Center. I applauded the response of replacing it with a huge rainbow flag. I understand that the need for discretion at the youth shelter makes a similar response inappropriate.

    This kind of vandalism and intimidation is intolerable. The perpetrators should be apprehended and dealt with.

    This is 2010. Digital technology is clear and affordable.
    Please tell me the actors were recorded and identified.

    For a number of reasons, surely there are at least a couple of surveillance cameras in close proximity to this “Center” shelter.

    If I lived closer, I would join a volunteer detail to help clean up this mess. I subscribe to the broken window theory. On second thought, maybe it would be empowering for the clients of the shelter if they took the clean-up on themselves.

  • scott ny'er

    @A.G.: Yep. And it happened in NYC (well Queens but still), during gay pride month, and the Queen Pride parade happened last Sunday, and Brooklyn pride is I think this weekend AND we’re coming up to the big NYC pride parade. Coincidence? IDK.

    And again, I pass the gay city news kiosk and it’s always filled with garbage, while all the other kiosks (a good 7-10) next to the gay city news kiosk are ok, whether they are empty or not.

    It’s just plain hate. I mean, some douche makes it his/her duty to go and place garbage in the gay city news, every chance they get. Because I have seen the kiosk clean with papers (most likely, when it’s being refilled). But a few days later it’ll be filled with garbage.

  • deda

    i hate it when people say “graffiti” when they mean “defacement”

  • merkin

    Am I the only queen jaded enough to wonder about the center being “vandalized” (please, Ive read less polite wording in the Christian Science Monitor) three days before a gay-youth rally sponsored by the Center? I support what they do, but Im thinking this was a self-inflicted wound.

  • Samwise

    @merkin: The gay youth rally was scheduled when it was because June is Gay Pride Month, and there’s all kinds of pride-related events going on around this time (as Scott NY’er pointed out). It’s well-established that anti-gay hate crimes, from defacement to murder, ALWAYS rise during June. The greater visibility annoys homophobes and moves them to act on their prejudice. The same thing happens when gays are in the news on a regular basis. Hate crimes increased after Ellen came out, during the 2004 gay marriage debates, and most disturbingly, in the wake of Matthew Shepard’s murder.

    (This is not to say that we should go back in the closet or that visibility only hurts us. Hate crimes will only decrease the more visible we get, because visibility ultimately breeds allies. But right now, in this imperfect world, gay pride celebrations and such increase the rate of hate crimes.)

    So it is not too much of a coincidence that the Center was vandalized shortly before a gay youth rally. Both happened around the same time for the same reason: because it’s June.

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