Vandals target LGBTQ senior housing project


BOSTON (AP) — Signs around a construction site for what is being called the first affordable housing project for LGBTQ seniors in New England were vandalized with threatening graffiti over the weekend, sparking a swift condemnation from civic leaders.

The black spray paint messages were left on signs on the security fence around the old school in Boston’s Hyde Park neighborhood, according to LGBTQ Senior Housing Inc., the nonprofit behind the complex. 74 units known as The Pryde. The project which started last month is expected to welcome its first residents at the end of 2023.

Gretchen Van Ness, executive director of LGBTQ Senior Housing Inc., doesn’t live far from the construction site and said she started receiving vandalism emails from neighbors walking their dogs around 8:30 a.m. Sunday.

“We had such support in the neighborhood and we were really welcomed,” she said. “That’s not how the majority of people in Hyde Park feel.”

The vandalism was reported to Boston police just before 11 a.m. Sunday, a department spokesperson said Monday. The matter has been referred to the department’s civil rights unit, officer Andre Watson said. There had been no arrests Monday morning.

In response to the graffiti, around 100 people, including Mayor Michelle Wu, attended an afternoon rally in which the vandalism was covered in signs of support, including one that read “Being gay is not not a choice. Hatred is.

Wu called the vandalism “pathetic”.

“Hate and acts of vandalism will not be tolerated at the Pryde – or anywhere in Boston,” she tweeted.

Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden promised to hold the attacker accountable.

“This cannot hold. My office will pursue threats against the LGBTQ+ community where and when they occur. »

Van Ness was encouraged by the show of support.

“You have to stand up to bullies, and you have to stand up to these cowards,” she said. they feel anger and they feel desperation makes the burden so much lighter.”

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