New messages support LGBTQ community after hateful graffiti left - KPTV - FOX 12

New messages support LGBTQ community after hateful graffiti left in Grant HS bathroom

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

More graffiti showed up at Grant High School in Portland this week, this time in support of the LGBTQ community.

A couple of weeks after someone wrote hateful messages in a gender-neutral bathroom, someone else tagged Grant with pro-LGBTQ messages.

Some students think the new graffiti is a direct response from gay students who are fighting back.

Student Michael Meo spoke to FOX 12 when the first reports of graffiti, hateful and threatening messages in a gender neutral bathroom at the school, occurred.

“People that think we don’t have bigots and we don’t have people against LGBTQ, this is definitely evidence to say that’s not the case and that’s definitely disheartening,” he said at the time.

That first instance of graffiti had messages about gay people burning and hell and getting shot, but Monday, students were greeted by a huge banner saying “Queers Bash Back” and other pro-LGBTQ statements spray painted on a time capsule outside the school building.

The banner was taken down right away and the spray paint was scrubbed off, but many students, including Callie Quinn-Ward, support the new graffiti and feel it was necessary.

“When a marginalized community gets a death threat, I think a lot of people felt like they needed to respond and respond in a way that was maybe different from what we saw from the administration or what we saw from other people at Grant,” she said.

Other students, though, wonder if defacing property is the right answer.

“I’m glad they did that, to support it, but in the end, graffiti is pretty bad,” student Ana Shepherd said.

Four years ago, Grant became the first school in Portland to open gender-neutral bathrooms, and that’s why students are not surprised by the anti-LGBTQ graffiti backlash.

“In general, it’s just not really accepted to be against queer people here,” student Duncan Gates said. “Like, everyone is in support of them and their rights.”

District leaders told FOX 12 that grant’s principal is conducting an internal investigation of this new round of graffiti.

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