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Vandals Defaced LGBTQ+ Tributes at Iconic California Beach

Vandals Defaced LGBTQ+ Tributes at Iconic California Beach

A lifeguard tower painted in rainbow colors

Within days of local officials celebrating the area as a safe-haven for LGBTQ+ people, vandals tried to destroy the joy.

In response to the official recognition of a beach near Los Angeles for its LGBTQ+ significance last month, vandals took to the shore.

On Saturday, June 17, an event was held in Pacific Palisades to celebrate the LGBTQ+ history of Ginger Rogers Beach, a portion of Will Rogers State Beach.

However, two newly painted lifeguard towers that featured Progress Pride flags were vandalized by Monday morning, LAist reports.

It was around 7 a.m. when lifeguards realized towers 17 and 18 had been burglarized, an LAPD official said.

Several windows were broken, and a first aid kit and county cell phone were stolen. On top of that, antisemitic remarks and anti-LGBTQ+ language were written over the rainbow-colored walls of the towers. The incident is being investigated as a hate crime.

Throughout Southern California, there have been increasing numbers of harmful acts. Hateful flyers have been circulating at Huntington Beach homes about the Jewish and LGBTQ+ communities. A protest against a school district’s stance on LGBTQ+ education in Glendale involved dueling sets of protesters, including members of the Proud Boys, getting physical.

Crews quickly removed the markings from lifeguard towers, which are still functional and operating.

“We will repair the towers and continue to fight the extremism that has given rise to acts of hate like this because the only way to fight hate is with love,” said supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath, who introduced the measure commemorating the location.

Since the 1940s, there’s been a sense of belonging and safety for LGBTQ+ people along the Ginger Rogers beach strip. The sands were dotted with drag performances.

In honor of the beach, the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors passed a motion to place signage about the area’s importance and permanently paint the towers in Progress Pride colors. Project collaborators included the ONE Archives Foundation, one of the largest collections of LGBTQ+ history.

For Pride Month last month, Horvath proposed painting Ginger Rogers Beach’s two towers Progress Pride colors. A celebration and unveiling took place on June 17 to mark the towers’ opening as a space for LGBTQ+ community gatherings.

“For Pride, Los Angeles County raised the Progress Pride flag over our buildings; created an LGBTQ+ Commission; and expanded access to gender-affirming care through our community health-serving departments,” a spokesperson for the board told The Advocate.

Known for her advocacy of LGBTQ+ issues, Horvath is a respected ally for the LGBTQ+ community.

“Hate will not win,” said Horvath. “Not today, not ever.”

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