Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Gay Center Vandalized at NC State University

Technician photo of hate attack on NC State LGBT Center

Raleigh, North Carolina –  A perp with an anti-gay agenda vandalized the North Carolina State University GLBT Center on Monday.  Though the university was quick to obscure the slurs spray painted on the outer door and display case of the center, the campus newspaper, The Technician, got a good photograph of the message the hate tagger sent to LGBTQ staff and students at State.  The words “Fags Burn” and “Die,” along with a broad slash across a wall display were sprayed in purple paint across the whole front of the center, which is in Harrelson Hall on the main campus.  Campus Police Sergeant Jeff Sutton told The Technician that the hate act took place between 8:30 pm and 9:30 pm, when the vandalism was discovered. Adam Ward, a graduate advisor for the GLBT Center, and a graduate student at State in comparative biomedical science, wrote on a Facebook post, “No one was able to see who sprayed-painted this, but believe me, there will be a University response. We will continue working with University Police, and I thank all of our community members and allies for standing up for equality and what’s right.”  On her Facebook page, Center Director Justine Hollingshead posted this assurance to the LGBTQ community on the State campus: “We are working on some positive follow up and of course education. Just wanted to keep folks in the loop. Thanks for all of the messages of support.”  Hollingshead was employed to lead the GLBT Center in 2008, and has built it into a vital player in forming campus opinion about diversity and inclusiveness issues.

Sergeant Sutton said that since this was an act of vandalism against property, it would be considered a hate incident, rather than a hate crime against an individual.  Campus police are reviewing video surveillance tapes for the identity of the perpetrator.

On Tuesday evening, a public meeting was called by the GLBT Center leadership to generate ideas about a proper response to this act of hatred.

Dr. Stephen Sprinkle, Director of the Unfinished Lives Project, has been the guest of the NC State GLBT Center on two occasions, most recently in April of this year.  Dr. Sprinkle said, “This act of hate is not an isolated incident, in my opinion. North Carolina faces a divisive anti-same sex marriage ballot measure due to the work of extremist elements who took over the State Legislature in Raleigh for the first time since Reconstruction.” He continued,  “Radical, right wing homophobia is more likely to be unleashed against the LGBTQ community during times of high publicity on sexual orientation and gender expression issues.  Vigilance and swift action to identify and prosecute the vandal or vandals is necessary to send the counter message that gays and lesbians will are no longer viable targets for violence in the South.  The leadership of the NC GLBT Center should be commended for working so quickly to involve the campus community in education for justice and moderation in the wake of this disturbing incident.  Hate speech links up to hate violence, and words like “Fags Burn” carry the situation to a whole new level in Raleigh.”

The anti-LGBTQ vandalism occurred a month after the North Carolina General Assembly moved its same-sex marriage ban for state-wide vote to the May 2012 primary ballot.  If passed, the provision pushed by the Republican majority in the Legislature not only would ban same-gender marriage, but would also strip domestic partner benefits from North Carolinians. Adam Miller, interim director of Equality North Carolina, issued this statement in response to the NC State vandal attack: “The passage of this amendment clearly sanctions other discriminatory acts against LGBT people and, in the process, creates a climate of fear for LGBT people, their families, their children, and all who love them,” Miller said. “This hateful act will only serve to draw attention to our efforts and push us to work even harder to inform the public about the dangers of anti-LGBT legislation to our state, our communities, and our young people.”

October 19, 2011 - Posted by | Anti-LGBT hate crime, Bisexual persons, Equality North Carolina, gay men, GLBTQ, Hate Crimes, hate speech, Heterosexism and homophobia, Law and Order, Legislation, Lesbian women, LGBTQ, Marriage Equality, NC State GLBT Center, North Carolina, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, Slurs and epithets, Social Justice Advocacy, transgender persons, transphobia, Unsolved LGBT Crimes, vandalism | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. “The anti-LGBTQ vandalism occurred a month after the North Carolina General Assembly moved its same-sex marriage ban for state-wide vote to the May 2012 primary ballot.”

    {Gomer Pyle voice}

    “Surprise, surprise, surprise!”

    Whenever they say “It’s just about PROTECTING MARRIAGE!!1!1!”…


    Comment by JCF | October 20, 2011

  2. […] Carolinians. If we described how institutionalized discrimination makes instances of hate like the recent vandalism at North Carolina State GLBT Center not only more likely but more permissible, we often did not share how events like these make us […]

    Pingback by Good and Proper Affect in a Broken World: Heartbrokenness as Feminist Practice | The Feminist Wire | October 28, 2011

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    Comment by Peter | December 4, 2011

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