A vandal defaced queer-affirming artwork painted outside of a southern Brooklyn elected’s office on June 21, marking Bay Ridge’s second anti-LGBTQIA+ incident in the past two months.
Residents installed the chalk painting of rainbows and the phrase “Love is love” over the weekend in response to a comment about transgender people Assembly Member Alec Brook-Krasny made during a community board meeting on June 15.
But community members awoke on June 21 to find the painting covered in black spray paint.
Jason Graubard, a director of the local organization GayRidge, says the community has seen more displays of hate towards queer people, including degrading graffiti or public comments made by officials.
“Over the past few months Bay Ridge has seen a dramatic escalation of people and harmful acts towards the LGBTQIA+ community in Bay Ridge and all of south Brooklyn,” he said.
The now-defaced mural came in response to a controversy surrounding Brook-Krasny, who quoted the declaration of independence before making a comment towards transgenderism during a meeting hosted by Community Board 10 that upset some members of the queer community.
“I don’t have to tell you, you all remember the Declaration of Independence and the words about self-evident truths,” the assembly member said. “Now who knows what self-evident truth is. Who is a boy? Who is a girl?”
The pol stood by his comments in a tweet on June 16, calling the LGBT+ community “hyper- sexual.”
“The LGBTQ+ community and even “pride” itself is inherently sexual. Every letter literally represents a sexual orientation,” Brook-Krasny said online. “I would even go as far as to say that it’s hyper-sexual. Anyone can go to a pride parade and see for themselves that it is very sexualized.”
According to Graubard, people appear to be emboldened with how they show their disapproval towards the LGBTQIA+ community.
In April, someone tore down a pride flag from in front of a Bay Ridge storefront and burned it, as previously reported by Brooklyn Paper.
“Last year when we had our pride event, there were no concerns,” he said. “And this year leading up to it, given the climate around the country, I feel that people have been taking more acts to show their disgust or hatred or bigotry, homophobia and transphobia towards the local community.”
Council Member Justin Brannan, who represents Bay Ridge, took to Twitter to call out the vandalism.
“To our LGBT community in Bay Ridge and beyond: you are loved and respected, and your family deserves to feel safe here,” Brannan said online. “I will do everything I can to make sure it stays that way. Hate has no home here. We will give no quarter to those trying to divide us up. Forward [never] back
Bay Ridge Republican Alec Brook-Krasny waited for #PrideMonth to unleash a torrent of hateful anti-LGBT views. Then he doubled down. Then he tripled down. Folks responded by writing Love is Love in chalk outside his office.🌈 Last night, someone responded with black spray paint. pic.twitter.com/ogFR5jZ9jX
— Justin Brannan (@JustinBrannan) June 21, 2023
Graubard and other GayRidge members say they will use the recent incident to come together stronger.
“We’re going to be working together as a community to ensure the safety and acceptance for all of us around Gay Ridge and south Brooklyn,” he said.