‘Appalling’ attack on Pride mural shakes city just days after anti-homophobia march

Liverpool Pride mural

An LGBT+ Pride mural in a Merseyside park was “senselessly defaced” by vandals amid a spate of homophobic hate in Liverpool.

The rainbow mural in Sherdley Park was commissioned by St Helens Council and painted by volunteers from a local community group to celebrate Pride Month.

It stood in the park for just a day before vandals covered it with black scrawls and the words “gay c**ts”, the council reported.

“To say we were shocked and disgusted by this would be understating our emotions,” said councillor Jeanie Bell. “We must still battle with a minority who will not let others live as they want to out of hatred and ignorance.

“This is more than just petty vandalism, this is a hate crime.”

The vandalism follows a troubling trend of homophobia in Liverpool which has seen multiple reports of violent anti-LGBT+ hate crimes throughout Pride month.

Last week hundreds of people marched in protest against the spate of attacks after several victims came forward in local media, sharing photos of their battered and bloodied faces.

Although the Pride mural has now been repainted, the incident serves as an uncomfortable reminder of the undercurrent of homophobia running through the city.

“It’s been heartening to see people in Liverpool rally around the city’s LGBT+ community in the wake of a despicable series of homophobic attacks,” Bell told the Echo, “but ultimately distressing that we must still battle with a minority who won’t let others live as they want to out of hatred and ignorance.

“We must continue to strive to make our communities better than that and show that hate crime of any form is not tolerated in our borough.”

Merseyside Police described the graffiti as “appalling” and have appealed for anyone with information to get in contact.

“This was an appalling incident in which local artwork was defaced, and we are fully investigating having today received a report,” said St Helens community policing chief inspector Paul Holden.

“If you saw this being done, or have any information at all, let us know and we will take action.

“As councillor Bell rightly says, this is more than just vandalism, it is a hate crime and will be treated as such. For any person or location to be damaged in such a way is completely unacceptable, and creates fear and distress for those targeted.”