Metro Weekly

Anti-LGBT aggressions tick up following Donald Trump’s victory

Police are investigating two incidents in upstate New York as arsons

Photo: Shaun King, via Twitter.

Photo: Shaun King, via Twitter.

Nasty notes and flag burnings targeting members of the LGBT community are being reported in the wake of Donald Trump’s victory on Tuesday night. Coupled with other reported incidents where people have been targeted for their race, ethnicity, or religion, the events have left many within the LGBT community worried that Trump’s rise has emboldened bigoted people to attack minority groups with impunity.

Police in Rochester, N.Y., are investigating two separate burnings of gay pride flags that occurred on Election Day. One of the victims whose flag was burned, Greg Ventura, believes the incident was a “targeted hate crime” and attributes the crime to heated disagreements stemming from the presidential election.

“It just made me disappointed,” Ventura told local news affiliate WXXI. “I thought I lived in a very accepting area of Rochester and I just couldn’t believe that this happened in the downtown region.”

Ventura also said that firemen pointed out that the burning flag could have potentially led to his whole house catching fire. He has no plans to replace the flag, but is considering installing security cameras outside his house.

Both Rochester flag burnings are being investigated as arsons. 

Other LGBT people report they have been the recipients of anonymous notes expressing anti-gay animus in the wake of the election. 

In West Virginia, a gay couple was awakened at 3 a.m. by a knock on their door, followed by the sounds of people running away. When they went outside, they found a handwritten note on their porch which read: “Trump is our president now! Get out of our neighborhood now FAGGOTS!!”

In North Carolina, a lesbian couple received a similar note placed on their car windshield reading: “Can’t wait until your ‘marriage’ is overturned by a real president. Gay families = burn in hell. Trump 2016.”

So far, there have been no confirmed reports of physical violence against LGBT people following the election.

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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