On Friday morning, I walked outside and found these things written in the snow on my car:
I don’t believe these were random markings from some drunk undergraduate; I believe I was targeted by one or more people living in my neighborhood. Here’s why:
First, I’m gay. Openly gay. Like really obviously openly gay. And I’ve had the experience of walking down my street and seeing a group of young men sitting in lawn chairs, drinking beer, and very obviously watching me with hostility. I’ve had the experience of knowing, just knowing, they were talking about me. I’ve had this experience more than once in my neighborhood. I’m a normal looking human being (unless you consider being an obviously gay lady ‘abnormal’), and I haven’t done anything that could gain me any enemies, so I can only attribute the hostility to the one thing: the decisive evidence that I look like a lady who might be attracted to ladies.
Second, my car was the only one that had any writing on it at all. If the ‘graffiti artists’ wanted a blank slate, there were plenty of cars with snow on them on my street. If they wanted to, they could have marked up three different cars, one with each hateful utterance and symbol! But no. My car was the only one that was touched. There’s nothing on my car that marks it as the possession of a gay person–not a bumper sticker, not a rainbow, nothing. If it’s true that the graffiti has an antigay message, then whoever wrote it had to have prior knowledge that a gay person owned the car.
Third, though there isn’t a clear antigay message in the graffiti, I believe there’s enough evidence in the three photos to point to an antigay motivation. Here’s what I think happened:
ASSHOLE: Hey, this is that gay bitch’s car. Watch this. draws enormous penis on rear window; steps back to admire work. To friends: She’s gonna love that. has really good idea, writes ‘I ♡ penis!’
ASSHOLE’S FRIENDS: Dude!
ASSHOLE: realizes that another thing he knows about gay people is that they have AIDS, writes ‘aids’ on top of car. Looks at friends. I just wrote aids on her car. looks back at car, draws peace symbol to fill up remaining space.
ASSHOLE’S FRIENDS: Oh my god, dude. You’re messed up. laughter.
ASSHOLE: remembers the recent spate of antisemitic attacks in Bloomington, draws swastika on hood. Realizes this is his chance to also say something racist! Lookit this, guys. writes ‘nig nogs are smelly’ on hood. That’ll teach her to stop being all gay in front of me.
I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to feel all intimidated and scared. I’m supposed to be terrified that someone has learned my secret and is announcing to the world that I’m a fag. Ooooooooooooooooo scary!
Here, dude, I’ll just save you the trouble: Yup, I’m a fag. I have lots of friends who are also fags, and they don’t particularly care who knows it. You know why? Because we’re not afraid of ourselves, not anymore. And we want, through our words and actions, to encourage others who haven’t yet come out of the closet to see that it’s okay to be gay and it’s okay for other people to know it.
You know what else? The world’s on my side, asshole. My friends, queer or not, found what you did disgusting and obnoxious and reprehensible. The police took it seriously, filed a full report and added extra patrols in my neighborhood. If your goal was to scare me into silence, your actions had the exact opposite effect.
See you around, kiddo. I’ll be the one shoving my gay all up in your face every time you watch me walk past your house minding my own business. You should maybe thinking about minding yours.