Orlando LGBT Center Graffitied

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Words and drawings in gold spray paint appeared over the weekend on the building that houses The LGBT Center (The Center).

Vandals painted symbols, words and names in Spanish on the back of The Center sometime between 9 p.m. June 8 and 8 a.m. June 9. Executive Director Randy Stephens said it does not appear to be directed toward the LGBT community.

“Not everything that happens here is a hate crime,” Stephens said. “We had some drunk college kids on our roof about a year ago, but they were just being stupid.”

Employees from the Funky Monkey Wine Company next door contacted Stephens early Sunday to tell him the turquoise-colored wall had been defaced. Photos posted on Facebook show a large checkmark, a PACman-looking figure and some nearly indistinguishable Spanish names and words.

Volunteers and employees of The Center didn’t notice the damage because they park in front of the building and only use the back lot for garbage pickup. Funky Monkey employees park behind their building, which is painted tan and similar to the gold paint. Vandals might have found the bright canvas of The Center irresistible.

Stephens notified the Orlando Police Gang Unit June 10 and sent photographs to detectives. The Center’s volunteer coordinator painted over the graffiti and by late Monday, it was gone.

A rainbow covers one side of the nonprofit where hateful words were painted many years ago, Stephens said, but these days it’s mostly gang-related scribbles or kids’ doodles that appear.

“It was mischievous, I think,” Stephens said. “But we still have to be cautious and remain aware. My main thing is to make sure everyone stays safe, from our volunteers to our guests.”

From our media partner Watermark


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