Vancouver's main stay LGBTQ publication, Xtra!, which also publishes in Toronto and Ottawa, says more than a dozen of its newspaper boxes have been destroyed by a homophobic vandal. Pink Triangle Presses Gareth Kirkby had this to say:
This is "far and above what we've experienced in the past,". "This we find quite alarming."
"The energy that's required, the persistence to rip out a part that is very deliberately anchored in, suggests that this person has some significant issues," Kirkby says. "Somebody walking the streets out there has a real hate-on for the gay and lesbian community."
"I understand that people are not targeting Xtra with this; they're targeting the gay community. We're just a stand-in for the community," he says.
Among the stand-alone street boxes, only Xtra was attacked, Kirkby notes. But in at least one multiple publication box on Hornby St the only other gay publication, LOV magazine, was also targeted, its clip ripped out in the same way. No other publication was touched.
To systematically rip out the clips on 14 gay publication boxes from Gastown to English Bay suggests an obsession, Kirkby says, concerned the fury may escalate.
The Globe and Mail adds:
Ken Coolen, president of the Vancouver Pride Society, called the actions “cowardly.”
“It’s frustrating and it’s disappointing. We’re going into 2011,” he said. “It sounds like one or a group of people who are homophobic and looking at a way to lash out against the gay community. I guess this is a way of them doing it without thinking they’re going to be in as much trouble.”
Constable Jana McGuinness, a spokeswoman for the Vancouver Police Department, said while it’s too early to call the vandalism a hate crime, “it certainly does look targeted.”
The Vancouver Police Department and Crime Stoppers are taking tips at 1-800-222-8477.