FRENZY WITH BENEFITS

Vandalized Gay Couple Say Media Glare Made Harassment Worse

A gay couple in Texas who found anti-gay grafitti on their house say that things only got worse after the local media picked up their story.

After finding “leave fags or die” scrawled on the wall of their Clarendon, TX, home, Jeremy Jeffers and Joshua Harrison initially went to the police—but soon felt ignored:  “[The officers] walked around and took our statement,” Jeffers says. “But they didn’t offer to set up a patrol or bother to ask any questions around the neighborhood.

The men said they went to the media because “people might be aware of what happened, [and] would be hesitant to physically attack us.” The glare of the camera did raise awareness about their plight, but not in a good way.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Since word of the media’s involvement spread, the local cleaning service where Harrison worked began losing clients, resulting in loss of employment for Harrison. Additionally, the couple says they’d been refused service at some local establishments and verbally assaulted at others.

Fortunately, the LGBT blog Owldolatrous Press, stepped in with more than $2,600 in donations from across the nation, and Equality Texas is pitching him to help Jeffers and Harrison find work and a new home in gay-friendlier Amarillo. “For a while I was wondering if we were really a community or a family anymore,” says Jeffers. “It’s nice to know that we’re not alone.”

It’s nice to hear an ugly story with a happy ending.