Pride flags have been reportedly targeted by vandals from Seattle’s Capitol Hill to several locations in White Center this week.
In one attack at Capitol Hill’s historic Crescent Lounge—Seattle’s oldest gay nightclub—three men wearing hoodies and hats were seen on surveillance climbing on each other to tear down both the Pride flag and the American flag next to it.
“It was a meticulous thing planned if you consider five or six different gay bars all at the same time on the same night had the pride flags ripped down,” said Marc Anderson of the Crescent.
“It was very cowardly too, because they did it at 4 a.m. on Sunday.”
The LGBTQ community has taken notice of the uptick in malicious vandalism in the middle of Pride Month. “It casts a sense of underlying fear in the neighborhood now that didn’t exist yesterday,” said Traci Hiller of Renton, where the nearby United Christian Church has been the target of vandals who scribbled Bible verses and set off explosive devices, blasting holes in painted doors intended to spread spiritual messages of inclusion during Pride Month.
On Wednesday, the FBI and ATF were working to trace evidence the vandals left behind.
A temporary art installation in Capitol Hill—which will be the future home of the AIDS Memorial Pathway—was vandalized between Monday and Tuesday.
“Those people are clearly misguided,” said Pete Rush, the artist who created the temporary installation.
“I am happy to hear whatever they have to say, I would rather they find a different forum and just talk to us instead of creating vandalism.”
Trans Pride event organizer Elayne Wylie told KIRO 7 there will be a lot of extra security to relieve a lot of concerns over recent hate crimes.
“I like to describe trans pride as a small gathering in a park with 15,000 of our closest friends,” Wylie said.
“But there’s also people in our own community saying, 'am I going to be safe attending trans pride?' And her response is 'yes! We are preparing for that. We are expecting that.'”
Being prepared for the run-up to Pride events in Seattle at the end of the month was the sentiment being heard across the LGBTQ community.
“Where community who looks out for each other,” said Marc Anderson. “So good luck coming at us because we’re going to stand together against hate.”
© 2019 Cox Media Group.