After the vandalism at the Pride Center of Vermont, the community is stepping up and showing their support. In the wake of the Pride Center’s door being smashed in, they’re fostering hope and positivity in this time of uncertainty. The Director of Development and Communications at the Pride Center Justin Marsh, says they’re promoting the love and support shown by the community rather than focusing on the negativity.
“It was a scary time, it was a scary situation to basically wake up to this news. I think this is jut one of many events that have happened over the course of the last month that have targeted the LGBTQ community here in Vermont.”
Only one day after the incident, the Pride Center was receiving donations and kind messages from their partner organizations. “We’ve luckily raised some funds to help replace the door, and we are looking into some more significant security. I think that’s a good reminder that despite having to react to these forms of violence, that we are still pillars in the community for the youth.”
“Our thoughts and care and love are with our colleagues at the Pride Center of Vermont,” said Dana Kaplan, the Executive Director of Outright Vermont. “We know that there has been a coordinated uptick of hate fueled violence that’s happening very prominently here in Vermont.”
Kaplan’s mission is to build a state where all LGBTQ+ youth have hope, equity, and power in the community. She said these instances of identity fueled hate create a level of feat but they also present opportunities for us to stand together as a community. “We talk at Outright about the idea that we hold the harm, and we also hold the hope and that we do those things together.”
Marsh added that even though we have progressive legislation in Vermont, hate can still exist here. In addition to community awareness and donations, the BTV clean-up crew is also raising money for the Pride Center by selling stickers this Sunday.