Vandals Target Gay Newspaper Xtra in Vancouver

The Canadian gay newspaper Xtra, which publishes in Toronto, Ottawa, and Vancouver, says more than a dozen of its newspaper boxes have been destroyed by homophobic vandals in Vancouver:

Xtra This is "far and above what we've experienced in the past," he says. "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.


  1. Tone says

    I cannot guarantee that I wouldn’t try to rip out an Xtra! delivery box given the opportunity. Ken’s damn yellow rag anyway. Maybe the perps are just really good judges of shitty journalism and are acting accordingly. Naah it’s probably some thug with issues. Still….

  2. El-Brucio says

    This kind of thing happened in Ottawa a few years back. I seem to recall that the man who was charged seemed mentally ill, and significantly older than the kind of person I would have expected for such a crime.

  3. ratbastard says

    1)Publicity stunt

    2)A gay person or group troll(s)

    3)Someone mentally ill, etc.,

    4)Teenagers, kids being aholes

    These kinds of incidents OFTEN turn out to be committed by the ‘Victims’

  4. Hue-Man says

    The TV reports yesterday expected to identify the culprits as the locations are on busy streets with store cameras. The arrests should be interesting.

    Regarding Xtra, the market speaks – if there’s nothing of interest, people won’t pick it up and advertising revenues decrease until it’s bust. Beyond that, it’s not like there are so many gay publications that one wouldn’t be missed…

  5. Rick S. says

    The corporate Xtra West killed a much better, locally produced gay publication in Vancouver. And yes, its journalism is trite, so I am not shedding crocodile tears over this.

  6. D.R.H. says

    Rick, they’re not targeting Xtra West they’re targeting homos. And they are likely the same Friday night trash that bus in from Surrey or Richmond and beat the crap out of unsuspecting homos in the the West End.

  7. Tony Correia says

    As the guy who wrote the cover story that is prominently featured in the accompanying photo, thank you Towler Road.
    For those people that are commenting on the quality of the journalism in the paper, there are some fine writers working for Xtra such as Ivan Coyote, Jackie Wong, and Nathaniel Christopher that really care about the condition of Vancouver’s queer community. Writing queer and making a living at it isn’t easy and while I don’t agree with all of Xtra’s editorial decisions to call the writers trash is plain wrong.
    By the way, Angles, the paper that Xtra replaced, was equally vilified when it was in print.

  8. wantonlooks says

    The city of Vancouver once had an unassailable reputation as the city of sophistication and tolerance. This is one of a series of events that show the city has some serious problems. It has nothing to do with journalism or Richmond riffraff, it has to do with an undercurrent of homophobia that has a propensity toward violence.

  9. mike says

    it makes me sad to think about hate crimes coming from Canada. i like to think of Canada as this perfect safe haven where if i ever get rich i can move there and be totally accepted. ugh