Anti-Gay Slurs & Swastika Painted on Gay Fla. Teen’s Home
A gay teen from Florida says vandals spray-painted anti-gay graffiti on his mobile home and the authorities are calling the incident a hate crime, the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal reports.
When Jesse Jeffers, 18, of Pace, Fla., (in the Florida panhandle near the Alabama border) came home last weekend, he discovered that his trailer was covered with graffiti. The vandals spray-painted anti-gay slurs, graphic images and a swastika in and outside of his trailer.
"I look up and all I see the house ... (and I said) ’Oh my God,’" Jeffers told the newspaper.
The incident happened while Jeffers was out and the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office say the incident is a hate crime.
The vandals spray-painted a pair of woman’s breasts on the outside of the teen’s home and the phrase "God don’t love you" with a heart replacing the world "love." The inside of Jeffers’ home was also damaged, as the attackers spray-painted a swastika on the ceiling.
"Its not like ’OK, let’s just spray paint somebody’s house. Let’s put all kinds of crazy stuff on it," Jeffers said. "What they said on the front door and everything was outrageous."
Although no one has been arrested, Jeffers, who lives next door to his mother, says he knows who caused the damage and claims the spray-painting is retaliation for an argument he had with friends last week.
"I hate it. I mean, if you want to fight somebody, you need to take it to their face and not do it to their house or personal property," Jeffers told the publication.
The teen told the Huffington Post that he is frightened to return to his home, however, and that he’s been living with his mother. He also said the incident was caught on a neighbor’s security camera and that police said warrants may soon be issued for the alleged vandals.
"I don’t know if they’re going to do it again," Jeffers told the Huffington Post. "Or if there are copycats. It’s basically a small town with a bunch of rednecks."
Jeffers went on to say that this isn’t the first time he’s experienced anti-gay harassment. He claims he’s been bullied since middle school but has tried to ignore it.
The teen added he doesn’t have enough money to fix his home and doesn’t have insurance that would cover the damage. Thankfully, the community has been supportive and has come to Jeffers’ aid.
"There’s a bunch of nice people out there that I didn’t even know existed, that cared," the teen, who is trying to earn his GED certificate, said.
Huffington Post notes that a local LGBT-friendly church and other members of the community will help Jeffers remove the spray paint. Additionally, Jeffers has received donations from around the country since the News Journal reported the incident. Even commenters on the publication’s story are offering support. One man, posted his contact information and said he will "put together a volunteer group to come help you clean up the spray paint. Hopefully as quickly as this next Saturday we can organize a work day."