For the last several years, LGBT student groups at the University of Texas at Dallas have regularly painted the school’s “spirit rock” (above) to mark upcoming events.
This year, LGBT students at UTD painted the rock in the colors of the Transgender Pride flag to mark the Transgender Day of Remembrance on Nov. 20. In a beautiful tribute on the LGBT-friendly campus, they also planted flags in front of the rock representing each trans person murdered since 2012 (below).
But on Monday, someone vandalized the rock, scrawling “WEIRD” in spray-paint over “TRANSGENDER DAY OF REMEMBRANCE.”
“To whomever vandalized the TDOR memorial today: hope you feel proud of yourself,” Rainbow Guard at UTD wrote on Facebook. “Takes a real courageous person to anonymously insult a group of people who’ve been killed as a result of the bigotry you displayed.”
“The individual(s) who repainted the rocks are my favorite people [right now]. This community will not remain silent,” the group added.
Rainbow Guard member Allen Smith said he believes the person who vandalized the TDOR memorial may also be responsible for defacing “Black Lives Matter” material on campus.
Needless to say, there’s been plenty of anti-trans rhetoric in Texas of late to fuel this type of hatred. Houston voters defeated an Equal Rights Ordinance based on false, fear-mongering ads suggesting it would have allowed men to enter women’s restrooms. And the same anti-LGBT hate groups that were behind the Houston campaign have threatened to try to repeal LGBT protections in Dallas.