MILWAUKEE – For the second time in two months, a resource and safe-space in the Milwaukee LGBTQ-community has been targeted with anti-LGBTQ vandalism.
When employees arrived to work at Diverse & Resilient in the morning of December 6, 2016, they saw the damage. Vandals had broken the entryway door and shattered glass was left outside the building.
The next day, Diverse & Resilient posted the following message on their Facebook page:
We SO appreciate the outpouring of support following the act of vandalism to D&R yesterday, so many of you have our back! Our building is secure, the United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County is covering the repair expenses, many of you donated, and our work continues! So this is a new day and a new story of the positive work we do. The D&R Youth Advisory Board put on an awesome “Be YOU” event last Friday. The YAB planned the food and games, decorated, and led conversations on gender roles and sexism. Here is a picture of some of them with their friends! This is who we are and what we do. D&R Proud!
Diverse & Resilient, a Wisconsin resource fighting for the equity and safety of LGBTQ people; is having a hard time escaping the acts of hate since the rise of President Trump and using speech that promotes hate and discrimination of LGBTQ people, Muslims, women and immigrants.
So for Diverse & Resilient, the “resilient” part of their name rings true now more than ever. Today, employees arrived to find anti-LGBTQ slurs spray painted on the outside of the building.
“Sadly we have once again been hit by anti LGBTQ graffiti. We remain resilient and will carry on with our work. This has been reported to the police and the Southern Poverty Law Center. We are a loving crew here, just send us your loving thoughts! #WeAreStrongerThanHate,” was captioned with the photos of the damage Diverse & Resilient wrote on their Facebook page.
There’s been an outpouring of support on social media for Diverse & Resilient and others have shared their post using the hashtag #WeAreStrongerThanHate to show solidarity.
Gerry Coon, President & CEO of Diverse & Resilient had this to say about the attacks. “The outpouring of love and support today for D&R was nothing short of amazing, but in some ways it was not surprising at all because this is what good people do when one of us is attacked, we stand with each other. People from around the country offered their support, and that support is what keeps us strong. The LGBTQ public health work we are so proud to do continues.”
Clean up on the building got underway right away with lots of support from the community. Diverse & Resilient posted this to their Facebook page: “Clean up is almost done and we remain undeterred…The security cameras we plan to install soon will help too. Love you all!”
UPDATED: to reflect a quote from the President & CEO and security measures moving forward.