MADISON, Wis. – The head of a LGBT publication in Madison said the boxes where readers can pick up his magazine are repeatedly the targets of vandalism.
Patrick Farabaugh, publisher of Our Lives Magazine, said several times a month, he’s cleaning up graffiti, anti-gay stickers and other forms of vandalism on the boxes. Within the last two weeks, he’s had to clean at least seven out of the 15 or so boxes.
“Whoever’s doing it views us as lesser or views us as, often, not even having a right to exist,” Farabaugh said.
Since 2016, the rate of the vandalism has escalated, he said. He’s found the boxes dragged down the block, kicked over or stolen altogether and said nearby boxes holding other publications do not appear to be targeted at the same level. People will also open up the boxes and write anti-gay slurs on the magazines inside.
He said he has spent hundreds of dollars replacing the labels on the boxes.
“People will go around just ripping the labels off, I think, the same way that you see people trying to remove rainbow flags from people’s yards,” Farabaugh said.
The Our Lives Magazine office had a rock thrown through the front door in May 2018. Farabaugh said the office was vandalized in some form three different times. For safety reasons, he gave up the lease, and he and the magazine’s other staff member now work from home.
“When something like this happens, I don’t think it is targeting myself or Emily as much as it is the community that the publication represents,” Farabaugh said.
The one “rainbow in the storm” for Farabaugh is that he now has readers who alert him when they see vandalized boxes, and he’s grateful to them for their support.
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