Vandals Deface Adelaide’s Rainbow Pride Walk With Homophobic Graffiti
Adelaide’s Pride Walk in the city’s popular Light Square has been defaced, with vandals writing the words ‘REPENT’ across the pathway.
Warning: The story has details of alleged homophobic vandalism. For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.
Adelaide’s Pride Walk, established in 2016, commemorates key milestones in South Australia’s journey towards LGBTQI equality, and has since become a prominent and celebrated feature of Light Square.
Star Observer was first alerted to the incident by Adelaide Councillor and Queer Greens co-convenor Keiran Snape, who posted a picture of the defaced Pride Walk to social media. The post quickly sparked fierce commentary and anger from Adelaide’s LGBTQI communities.
Not The First Time Pride Walk Has Been Vandalised
Snape told Star Observer that they discovered the vandalism when they were walking to a community AGM about 5.30pm on Thursday,
“I walked through the path as I normally do and saw it there in rather large writing.”
“As a newly elected councillor, I thought I would alert council about it, but also make a post about it. When things like this happen, we need to stand up to it, and make a point that it’s not acceptable.”
“I think since the marriage equality plebiscite there has been a push back from the socially conservative parts of society. We’ve taken great strides in the right directions, but these kinds of positions are still prevalent in some parts of society” Snape adds.
Sadly, this is not the first occasion Adelaide’s Pride Walk has been the target of vandals. In October 2019, an individual was caught and subsequently filmed as he sprayed the words “Jesus loves you” multiple times across the Pride Walk.
The alleged vandal deliberately covered dates featured in the Pride Walk, marking South Australia’s first Pride March, and the year in which homosexuality was decriminalised by South Australia.
‘We Are Tired’
Denouncing the most recent vandalism, South Australian Rainbow Advocacy Alliance said, via a lengthy statement posted to social media: “We are not even angry. We know that’s the reaction people want when they do things like this. Sorry, pal. Better luck next time.”
“What we are is tired. Tired of explaining that spiritually, mentally, emotionally, socially, medically, scientifically, LGBTIQA+ people have NOTHING to ‘repent’.”
“[We are] tired of opinions and laws that ignore and invalidate our existence. Tired of people who use fear to get their message across because they simply can’t be bothered learning the facts. You’re not edgy, you’re not freethinking, you’re just boring.”
Graffiti Vandalism Is A Crime, Says SA Police
South Australian Police were unable to confirm whether the vandalism had been reported, or whether they were or would be investigating the incident.
A representative for South Australia Police told Star Observer that, “Graffiti vandalism is a crime which costs the community both time and resources.”
“Graffiti vandals have no respect for private or community property and no regard for the negative impacts of their actions. Graffiti that is left intact attracts more graffiti and the longer it remains, the greater the gratification for perpetrators.”
“Graffiti can lower property values, make people feel unsafe, reduce business patronage and encourage other types of crime. In an attempt to reduce crime and prevent repeat offending it is important to report graffiti vandalism and suspicious activity to police as soon as possible.”
The police statement failed to acknowledge the targeted nature of the vandalism and the homophobic intention of the vandals.
A representative from Adelaide City Council told Star Observer, that the graffiti was removed by lunchtime on Friday October 8, 2021.
If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.
For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14
For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.