A poster-size ad for the gay online hookup site Squirt.org located in the Shaw-Howard University Metro station was defaced sometime in the past week with an anti-gay slur written with a marking pen, according to a Sept. 22 statement released by Squirt.org.
The statement calls the defacement “an act of homophobic vandalism.” It says the ad consists of two clothed men, with one having his arm around the other.
“The culprit used what appears to be a permanent marker to deface the two men, placing rifle scope marks on their foreheads,” the Squirt.org statement says. “They also wrote the word “GAY” on one of the men’s arms, and a gay slur on the other.”
The statement doesn’t disclose what the slur said.
When contacted by the Washington Blade, a Metro spokesperson released a brief statement confirming the incident occurred.
“Metro’s advertising contractor responded to a report of an ad being vandalized that was received Thursday evening,” said Metro spokesperson Richard Jordan. “The ad was cleaned at 10:20 a.m. Friday. There are no police reports regarding this matter,” Jordan said.
Squirt.Org describes itself in the statement it released about the D.C. Metro vandalism incident as an online site where “men meet other men for sex, fun, and friendship…True to its tagline, ‘Hot ‘n horny hookups,’ Squirt.org is a completely uncensored hookup/cruising site for gay, bi, and curious men who want to skip the pretense of dating and get right to the sex.”
The statement says one of its Squirt.org transit ads posted in Miami was destroyed in an act of vandalism in 2016 in the only other such case reported. But it says the D.C. incident was the first time slurs were written across one of its posters.
“We have never experienced this kind of homophobic vandalism on our billboards before,” the statement quotes Attila Szatmari, the Digital Business Director for Squirt.org’s parent company, Pink Triangle Press, as saying.
“This is our first campaign in Washington, D.C. since the Trump administration came to power and it is very sad to see the change in behavior,” Szatmari says in the statement. “It seems that some people feel that it is okay to spread homophobic messages. The Trump administration needs to work on uniting America and making sure that people feel safe, regardless of their sexual orientation, race, or religious beliefs,” she said.
The Squirt.com statement says as of early this week no one has taken responsibility for the D.C. incident. It says the D.C. Metro ad went up Sept. 4 and will run until Oct. 1.
“Squirt.org intends to continue to advertise across the United States, including Washington, D.C.,” says the statement.