An LGBT couple in Bloomington, Indiana, are crowdfunding for a new home after a series of attacks and fascist and pro-Trump graffiti has left them fearing for their safety.
The couple – a transgender woman and a bisexual woman – have been subject to a campaign of terror that has forced them to appeal to the LGBT community and beyond for help in leaving their home. In the last few days it has been strewn with vile graffiti including swastikas, burning crosses and transphobic and homophobic hate speech.
The appeal has already smashed its goal of $5,000 in 24 hours, with the total amount raised currently standing at $10,830.
“We live in a falling down house that we own,” wrote Evelyn Stier on the couple’s GoFundMe page.
“I bought this place as a last resort after my divorce and it turned out to be a horror of place to live. I’m transgender and she’s bi. We don’t really fit in with our surroundings but we minded our own business but still there have been constant attacks our property.
We’ve agreed to get the house done as soon as possible and move somewhere less toxic to people like us.”
This incident is yet another instance of hate crime in the USA; a surge that began in earnest in the build-up the United States President election and has continued in earnest in the aftermath of the victory of Donald Trump. The growing visibility of far-right political ideology in US society has also given rise to strong racist, misogynistic and anti-LGBT sentiment.
One trans woman from Denver posted pictures of her car after it had been daubed in swastikas and transphobic epithets. The post was shared across social media nearly 8,000 times after it was uploaded on November 16.
The LGBT community in Indiana and across the US have spoken of coming together to present a united front that opposes such hatred, fear and intimidation.
“We will get through this together,” said Janae Cummings, Vice Chair of Bloomington PRIDE, an organisation dedicated to enriching the lives of Indiana’s LGBT population.
“We’re very much aware that incidents are on the rise in southern Indiana. We don’t know of any violent physical assaults, but there have been a number of incidents involving verbal harassment and vandalism of houses, cars, and a church that had a swastika and the words ‘Heil Trump’ and ‘fag church’ painted on it.”
Cummings called on authorities in Indiana and across the US to take steps to ensure all citizens—no matter their race, gender identity, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, or disability—know that they stand against hate and will protect all citizens against it, and how to report hate incidents easily and without barriers.
“Leaders also need to make sure their law enforcement officers take reports of any and all incidents seriously and pursue anyone who harasses, intimidates, harms, or in any other way violates another person’s rights” she added.
To contribute to the crowdfunding campaign, click HERE.