Lesbian couple’s rainbow doormat sprayed black in anti-LGBTQ+ attack – and neighbours responded in the best way

Dunelm doormat

People living in a street in Bristol have come out swinging in support of their neighbours who had their Pride doormat sprayed with black paint in a hateful act of vandalism.

Children’s author Susie Day recently moved to the Bristol suburb of Bedminster with her partner and for Pride Month, the couple put down a rainbow doormat outside their home.

However, the colourful doormat from Dunelm was soon stolen and the couple laid a replacement down, which they glued to the floor to prevent another theft.

Shockingly, the second doormat was subsequently vandalised with black spray paint which blocked out the rainbow stripes.

Day said the couple reported the incident to the police and asked their neighbours if they have seen anything or had any video doorbell footage which might identify the culprit.

When those living in the same street as the couple realised what happened, they rallied around and brought rainbow doormats of their own to show their support and solidarity.

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“Everyone was really shocked and we’ve had such great messages and people coming round to say how disgusted they were someone would do this,” Day told the Bristol Post.

“Everyone has said that’s not what this street is like, and one of our neighbours said they were going to get a rainbow doormat themselves, and now a lot of the other neighbours are doing the same, and have ordered them.”

She added: “So from just our rainbow doormat, there’s now going to be loads.

“That will be a really nice thing for us, to go out and walk down the street and see that there’s this support.”

Describing the incident to the Reach title, Day said it felt “really horrible and invasive” and made the couple feel unsafe in their own home.

“We’d only recently moved here,” she explained, “and it felt personal. We weren’t sure if the theft was just random, but clearly someone didn’t like it and actually came back with a spray can.”

Day’s tweet about the theft and subsequent vandalism went viral after she shared it on Twitter, receiving more than 2,000 likes.

In response to the heinous act, fellow authors as well as LGBTQ+ activists came out in support of the couple, and acknowledged the rise in LGBTQ+ hate. 

A Monster Calls author Patrick Ness said the blacking out of the doormat is an example of what “modern transphobia has re-opened the gates to”.

Senior lecturer in sociology Dr Finn Mackay, who writes on topics relating to gender, feminism and LGBTQ+ identities, said they were sorry to see this type of vandalism and called it “horrible, invasive and horrible”.

Writer and mental health campaigner Natasha Devon said: “Remind us how there’s no homophobia any more and Pride Month isn’t necessary, again?”

Fellow children’s author LD Lapinski, who wrote the non-binary children’s book Jamie, called the incident “stomach-turning”.

Campaign group LGB with the T said: “Anti-LGBTQ+ hate alive and well in Bristol.”

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