A school building in Boston being converted to LGBTQ-friendly senior housing was vandalized with threatening graffiti such as “Die by fire” over the weekend, but the community is rallying to stand up to the hate.
The vandalism was discovered Sunday morning at the William Barton Rogers Middle School in the Hyde Park neighborhood, MassLive reports. It’s the future home of the Pryde, which will include 74 units of mixed-income housing. Other messages included “Die slow,” “Your fairy tale is over,” and “There are 2 genders.”
By Sunday afternoon, however, those messages had been covered with LGBTQ-supportive ones, and dozens of people demonstrated at the site in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.
“The words are so hateful. Just hateful,” Hyde Park resident Chris Roberts told Boston’s CBS affiliate. “And just so unnecessary. And what harm is any of us doing by wanting to live in a school that’s being converted to affordable housing?”
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu addressed the rally. “We are here because the community refused to give up on this project,” which has been in the works for several years, she said. Ground was broken last month.
“To see cowards come out in the dark of night and try to intimidate or put their hate on this larger community — it doesn’t represent what we have seen throughout this multiyear process,” Wu added.
She also posted a statement on Twitter.
Police are investigating by reviewing surveillance video and more. And Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden released a statement condemning the vandalism, which came the weekend after the Patriot Front, a white supremacist group, demonstrated in Boston.
“It breaks my heart to see these ugly threats targeting a project — and a community — of such importance to our city,” he said. “This is the second straight weekend of Boston being marred by hatred and intolerance. This cannot stand. My office will prosecute threats to the LGBTQ+ community wherever and whenever they occur.”
Below, see some of the hateful graffiti and how the community covered it.
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