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Gay Bar In Fresno Vandalized With Anti-Gay Slurs

Fresno
Bigoted vandals targeted a gay bar in Fresno, California earlier this week, spray-painting "homo" and "faget" on the walls and mirrors of the establishment. The Phoenix is currently under construction and slated to open in June. Bryan Beckstrand, who owns the bar along with his partner Karl Jensen, wrote about the incident on the bar's blog:

"My inclination is to just shrug it off and paint over it.  But then I wonder if the fact it's a gay bar (or will be) elevates this to something more than just vandalism.  Should I contact the police?  Will the police care?  Will the grafitti abatement team care a little more than the cops? All that being said, what happened yesterday, while not pleasant, could have been much, much worse, trust me. (Again, that'll be explained later.  I'm sorry for being so cagey but I think you'll agree my reasons for being cagey now will be apparent later)."

Police came to the bar to investigate after being contacted by ABC 30 and despite the fact that a gay bar was vandalized with anti-gay slurs, they do not believe this to be a hate crime.

The Phoenix is taking over the space of The Den, the gay leather bar that burned down last year. According to ABC 30, "fire investigators would not say arson was to blame -- but Jensen believes otherwise."

Watch an ABC 30 news report, AFTER THE JUMP.

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Comments

  1. Oh look. They can't even spell.

    Posted by: Cryo | Apr 9, 2011 11:55:21 AM


  2. ahahaha "faget." morons.

    Posted by: poison | Apr 9, 2011 11:56:09 AM


  3. Lol, I laughed at 'faget' too.
    But then again, if I'm the victim of a violent attack because of the fact that I'm gay, I doubt I'd be laughing at their spelling...

    Posted by: topher | Apr 9, 2011 12:10:02 PM


  4. Wait, this isn't being called a hate crime?

    I don't really believe that there should be a classification of crime called "hate crime," but if I did, this would pretty clearly fit the bill. These police, who are responsible for upholding the law, sound incompetent.

    Posted by: massachewsits | Apr 9, 2011 12:26:22 PM


  5. I'm the owner of the bar mentioned in the ABC 30 report (Karl is the one who did the on-camera interview; I'm in the white t-shirt). We believe the police were more than competent in this case. The Crime Scene Photo van came out, too, and took pictures of all the graffiti around the place. We're very satisfied with the police response.

    We didn't call the police because (1) as Karl mentioned, we weren't sure if they'd care about a little graffiti and (2) neither of us really like to "Play the victim" and (3) I rarely think that anything that happens to me is "news worthy". :)

    I don't call it a "hate crime", either. (Perhaps an "Ignorant Crime" or "Crime of Ignorance" would be better? :) ) But, with it being a gay bar, how could this *not* have a targeted "attack"?

    Regardless, the graffiti is gone, we've met the local cops, and both Karl and I were pleased that ABC 30 picked up the story and that the police had the response they did. Now, if we can only get the doors open. :)

    Posted by: BryanB | Apr 9, 2011 12:46:48 PM


  6. Great that you seem to be upbeat and just keep on ticking in the face of such stupidity, Bryan. Also good to hear the police were positive in this case.

    These types of anti-gay graffiti things are so juvenile and immature it's pathetic. The fact they can barely spell makes me think it was probably a teen/teens. They want to try to put fear into gay people and make us feel their presence, when we all know they would do nothing face to face alone with us. Insecure people are sad.

    Fresno, though, is a highly conservative place, so hearing these issues with these *potentially* gay attacks isn't surprising.

    Posted by: Francis | Apr 9, 2011 12:54:07 PM


  7. "Homo" and "Faggot" (correct spelling, if the spelling of an ignorant word really counts) are two of the words Gay people have "reclaimed", aren't they? Aren't these slurs supposed to lose their sting when we clutch them to our breasts? So much for reclamation theory . . .

    Posted by: Stuffed Animal | Apr 9, 2011 1:40:55 PM


  8. You should have left the graffiti and used it as part of the decor in the bar.

    Posted by: Nevets | Apr 9, 2011 2:13:30 PM


  9. This is nothing less than a hate crime. We had a similar incident at the church the police first said it wasn't a hate crime but then a lead investigator who had been educated in hate crime law said "anytime a Gay institution is vandalized with graffitti of a graphic nature or with slurs is a Hate Crime." I hope the people who did this are caught and prosecuted accordingly." Blessings on the new bar will come to visit.

    Posted by: Reverend Joseph Shore-Goss | Apr 9, 2011 3:40:35 PM


  10. Thanks, Francis!

    We kinda chose being upbeat as the best way to deal with this incident. (I'm considering naming a drink after the graffiti. The "Homo Fagét" :) ) I agree, it was a ridiculous, juvenile, and cowardly "attack".

    The plywood that was tagged has since been cut up for other uses. But we could make a mobile out of it for the patio. :)

    And what Rev. Shore-Goss says is interesting. In my brief reading of the California Penal Code it does appear that this could be a misdemeanor hate crime.

    Posted by: BryanB | Apr 9, 2011 7:20:33 PM


  11. PUBLICITY STUNT and/or a gay troll[s] did this 'hate' crime.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Apr 10, 2011 12:01:18 AM


  12. Woo hoo! Fresno made the news! lol

    Seriously, hurry up and open the Phoenix. I'm dying to find a place to just relax and have a drink without overbearing music or large crowds.

    BTW, will porn still be played on the television(s)?

    Posted by: Robert | Apr 10, 2011 12:09:55 AM


  13. It's Mr. Fagot to you!

    Posted by: Jeffrey Dunivant | Apr 10, 2011 2:17:35 AM


  14. Are we dealing with a closet case here? I mean "faget" has such a queer-spell quality to it. Why it sounds rather French, if you know what I mean. So piss elegant!

    Posted by: tjopnes | Apr 10, 2011 7:09:41 AM


  15. What you're dealing with here is an obvious make-believe hate crime.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Apr 10, 2011 8:56:43 AM


  16. The accusations by Ratbastard that this was some how a "publicity stunt" or a "make-believe hate crime" are utterly baseless and do not warrant a response other than this sentence.

    As far as opening soon, we're working on it and we plan on serving some piss-elegant layered shot (that is just plain nasty) called the 'Homo Fagét".

    Regardless, thank you all for your support.

    Posted by: BryanB | Apr 11, 2011 7:48:57 PM


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