September 23, 2015 at 5:10 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Silver Spring buildings hit with anti-gay graffiti
vandalism, gay news, Washington Blade

The words ‘no gay’ were painted on a building multiple times in Silver Spring. (Blade photo by Lou Chibbaro Jr.)

The words “no gay” appeared more than 50 times Sunday night along the top of a four-foot-high white cement wall that stands in front of a flower bed and shrubbery surrounding an office building in downtown Silver Spring, Md.

Tony Eastridge, the property manager for the 12-story upscale building at 1010 Wayne Ave., told the Washington Blade that his maintenance staff has painted over the anti-gay graffiti at least three times over the past year, only to see it reappear shortly after it’s removed.

“There’s not a whole lot of crime here,” Eastridge said. “It’s just this kind of stuff, which is unnecessary and uncalled for but unfortunately it happens.”

He said one of the building’s security officers called Montgomery County police on Monday to report the graffiti incident. Lt. Jennifer McNeal, deputy commander for the department’s Third District, which includes Silver Spring, said police would open an investigation into the graffiti incident.

Among other things, McNeal said police would seek assistance from the public. Unless someone comes forward to help police identify the person or persons responsible for the graffiti it will be difficult for police to close the case, she said.

According to McNeal, the scrawling of the graffiti along the top of the wall surrounding the office building has been classified as a form of vandalism.

Thomas Petry, a gay Silver Spring resident who has observed the “no gay” graffiti while waiting at a bus stop for his daily commute to work in D.C., said the same person also appears to be writing the words “FBI gay, FBI gay” dozens of times near where he or she writes “no gay, no gay.”

“I have no clue what that tie in is,” Petry said. “Maybe they blame the FBI for gays.”

Petry said that over the past year or two he has observed similar graffiti appearing on a similar white decorative wall in front of an adjacent office building at 1100 Wayne Ave., which is owned by the same company as the other building, Brandywine Realty Trust.

McNeal said anyone with information that could help police identify the person responsible for the graffiti should call the police non-emergency dispatcher’s office at 301-279-8000.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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