A quiet suburban family home decorated with Pride flags and signs was targeted by homophobic vandals who plastered the walls with hateful graffiti.
The house in Barrington, Illinois, had rainbow-decorated trees lining the driveway and an array of positive signs in the backyard, including one that read: “Love and peace over hate.”
Sadly it seems a homophobic thug took that as a challenge, as one morning they were replaced with vile, homophobic slurs.
Barrington local Kiki Angelos spotted the scene as she was out on her morning run. “The first thing I did was notice was the house and its signage, because it had a lot of positive messages in the front yard – which of course, you know, resonates with me,” she told CBS Chicago.
She stopped in disbelief when she saw the anti-LGBT+ graffiti scrawled on the garage, exterior brick walls and side doors of the home.
“It was a stab to the heart,” she said. “[I was] horrified, because it hit me personally. I have two children who identify as queer; a transgender son.”
Angelos raised awareness of the crime on social media as it is such an unusual case in the neighbourhood, and encouraged locals to vote in the upcoming election.
“I will not be silent, and no one should be scared to publicly express who they are in a loving way,” she said. “This community is going to rally around them and support them.”
Police are treating the vandalism as a potential hate crime, and believe it happened sometime overnight on October 17.
They are currently looking through footage on private security cameras to find the culprit, and a $2,500 reward has been offered for anyone who provides information leading to an arrest.
The family whose house was defaced declined to speak to local news, asking for privacy during this time.