KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Monday, August 27, 2007

We're Gay

Vandalism done to our car doorAccording to some Long Island homophobe, my husband, Ed, and I are gay. That doesn't bother us; it's not an insult to us. But having the 3-inch-tall word GAY scratched into the white paint on the driver-side door of our car is vandalism.

Ed just called from the periodontist's office to tell me that he went to the office parking lot to drive home and found the damage to our car. It's a 1991 Honda Civic, so it's not an expensive car, but it had had a complete paint job just before we bought it. It's our Equal Rights bumper stickerguess that the vandal didn't like our rainbow-hued "Equal Rights" bumper sticker. It shares the bumper with lots of other stickers: antiwar, anti-Bush, world peace, antigun, you name it. Perhaps those other sentiments were less aggravating to the vandal than the gay-rights one.

Ed's reporting the incident to the police as a hate crime. Our auto insurance may or may not cover repainting the car door, but we don't care about that; we're reporting the vandalism on principle. The periodontist, a Jewish man who's experienced prejudice, also wanted Ed to report the crime. He doesn't want the area around his practice to become a haven for hate crimes.

I guess we're an honorary gay man and an honorary lesbian.

Updated at 2:18 p.m., 8/28/07: A friend, hearing about this incident, e-mailed to say, "Congratulations! Yours must be the only gay marriage recognized by the state of New York! ;-)"

Cool! I hadn't thought of that. I feel like getting a T-shirt printed that says Honorary Lesbian and wearing it. In smaller type below that, it could say Some homophobes think that you have to be gay to support gay rights. Not true!

Updated at 9:59 a.m., 8/30/07: I've been corresponding by e-mail with Erin Davies, driver of the FagBug. She's posted our story on her blog.


Anonymous said...

Okay, I laughed my head off at the title but not so much at the content. That just sucks.

People can be such jackasses. I doubt the people who did it really care one way or the other about much other than their own petty hates.

I'm sorry that happened...but hey, at least Gonzales resigned. ;-)

Dick Margulis said...

Reporting it as a hate crime and not as mere vandalism was creative and definitely the right thing to do.

I doubt the police will follow up, given the pettiness of the crime, but perhaps you could interest a local reporter in the story. That might help raise consciousness in the community.

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

Well, surprisingly, Dick, the police department has assigned a detective to the case. The department wants to keep track of when and where hate crimes take place in our county. Ed will drop by the detective's office after work today so that the guy can take official police photos of the car door and all of our bumper stickers. The detective will also check with the chain restaurant across the street from the periodontist's office to see if the cameras on the outside of the restaurant captured any footage of the vandal.

And yeah, Karoli, I'm very glad Gonzalez resigned. I dream that Bush and Cheney, in a rare moment of clarity, will follow in Gonzalez's footsteps. I know—crazy dream.

Stephanie E. said...

Hi there. I just read this story on digest as well. I'm so sorry. How infuriating that when two incredible people dare to stand up for the rights of others, idiots try to punish them for it. I did get a good morning laugh, though, out of your "Katharine 'honorary lesbian' O'Moore-Klopf" signature on CEL-O. :)

Good for you for reporting it! And how encouraging that the police department is taking it seriously!

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

I'm proud to be a straight lesbian. :-))

Anonymous said...

I'm actually heartened by this post. Not because of the disgusting vandalism, of course, but because of your strong and constructive response! It's people like you and your community who bring this world around...little by little!

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

I certainly hope I'm making a difference, Melissa. If you liked my story, you'll probably like this one.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting! She's quite the brave crusader.
A dear co-worker's anti-war stickers were stripped off her car recently. She replaced them, but offset them somewhat so you could still see the torn-off areas.

Anonymous said...

any chance i could interview you guys? are you keeping it on for now or have you already gotten it fixed? ~erin of fagbug.com

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

Sure, Erin. You can interview us. Watch for my e-mail message to you.

Our car door is still gay at the moment. ;-)

Anonymous said...


One of the great things about this country is that we have the right to believe in and express belief in whatever we want. (Actually, I hate to say "right," since that leads to thoughts of our government allowing us to, and I can't justify being "happy" that our government allows us to do something we're born with - free will."

Anyway, the person who vandalized your car used that "right" to make himself look like a jackass. An unproductive jackass, at that. If you feel so strongly about something (in his case, not being gay, apparently), do something productive with that feeling. I don't really know what a person could productively do with that strong belief (maybe cling to whatever formed that belief? church? the Bible? the values he was raised with?), but, you get what I mean.

I'm sorry about your car. Your insurance pondering reminds me of that State Farm (I think it's State Farm) commercial where someone scratches the name "Brad" on a car and the car owner can't get it fixed because the insurance doesn't cover "nicknames." Haha.

Hopefully, your insurance company won't be that way.

Lisa S. said...

Your level headed response to this incident just proves that those who "claim" moral superiority are just jackasses looking for excuses to act like jackasses!!

You, on the other hand, are a great symbol of those who do care deeply about equal rights for gays, women, children, whoever!

Funny how those who think they're so "perfect" are the ones who commit the crimes? Good luck with all this!

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