An LGBTQ+ youth center in Spokane, Washington was vandalized three nights in a row last week, after already experiencing vandalism of its Pride mural a month ago.
On Thursday night, the sign for the Odyssey Youth Movement (OYM), located in the South Perry neighborhood, was covered in paint, as was the nearby rainbow crosswalk. The following evening, the windows and doors were covered in anti-LGBTQ+ hate speech. And finally, on Saturday night, a black pick-up truck left rubber tire treads across the rainbow crosswalk.
This isn’t the first time that 4-H has faced trouble over LGBTQ+ issues.
“We’re all saddened to hear that someone continues to vandalize the new rainbow crosswalk and Odyssey Youth facility,” Michelle Weaver, president of the South Perry Neighborhood and Business Association, told local news outlet KHQ.
“Hate runs counter to our values here in the Perry District. Our diversity is one of the things that makes the Perry District such a great place to be,” Weaver added. “Unfortunately, people fear that which is different from themselves and it leads to hate. I’m hoping whoever did this can be open to the fact that we all work hard, contribute to our communities, pay taxes, raise families, and have dreams and aspirations just like they do, no matter who we love and how we identify.”
Ian Sullivan, OYM’s executive director, said the acts “are designed to make LGBTQ+ youth and young adults feel unwelcome and othered in their own community.”
Spokane Police are investigating the crimes.
“With stuff like this continuing, as it’s been here the entire time… the call is to our government,” said Spokane NAACP president Kurtis Robinson. “‘What are you doing about this’ besides saying you ‘don’t like it’ and ‘it’s bad’… Do some work. Put some protections up… It’s not a question of if it’s happened. It’s the question [of] when is this going to happen again.”