A New Jersey family woke up July 31 to vandalism with the words "I'm Gay" spray-painted across their garage doors. Erin and Joe DeLong, parents to two bisexual teenagers, were furious at the attempt to shame their daughters, Emily and Miranda.
"Our kids are our everything, and to see them hurt is worse than being hurt ourselves," Erin DeLong told the blog EvolEquals. Police in Villas, N.J., are currently investigating the incident.
The Delongs decided that instead of simply painting over or removing the graffti, they would turn the hate speech into love by painting rainbow colors on their garage door to cover the scribbled message.
"We made it rainbow so we could include all sexualities -- we have many LGBT friends that visit our house and we wanted them to all feel accepted," Erin DeLong said. Both daughters, she said, have many LGBT friends, and Emily is also dating a trans guy, which is why the DeLongs wanted to be seen as unapologetically pro-LGBT. "It was a way to support them all," she said.
The DeLongs say they found out Miranda was bisexual when she was in the eighth grade and showered her with love.
"She was having some issues at school, and wasn't talking. I confronted her and asked and then told her that she could love whoever she wanted, as long as she's happy," her mother said. Emily, their younger daughter, came out earlier this year and gave a similar response: "Please love who you want and be happy."
Closeting is not an option for this family. While some parents reject their LGBT kids, the DeLongs are celebrating them with the vibrant LGBT rainbow colors.
"We decided that some announcements deserve more than gray spray paint," Erin DeLong told the blog.
Below, watch a report from WCAU TV about how the DeLongs responded to the vandalism.