Transphobic vandals attack Pride mural with ‘heart-breaking’ anti-trans slogan

Vandalised mural in Swansea

LGBTQ+ murals in Swansea have been vandalised and covered with homophobic and transphobic messages, in an attack the queer artist said proves the need for increased representation. 

Coastal Housing, a charitable housing association providing low-rental properties in and around Swansea, commissioned Natasha John to create LGBTQ-inclusive artwork for Pride month. 

But following the murals being created in King’s Lane in the city centre, they were defaced with transphobic and homophobic messages. 

Graffiti across the trans element of the Pride Progress flag read “only two genders”. 

John told PinkNews: “I was heartbroken to see the work being vandalised especially during Pride month.

“It seems the focus of this hate was against the trans community which are facing extremely difficult times at the moment.” 

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John said no one in the LGBTQ+ community should be excluded which is why Pride remains a protest and “we have a long way go”.

Following the vandalism John took to Instagram and wrote: “It’s absolutely heart-breaking to find out that someone has defaced the Pride Progress flag and thrown something on the characters.” 

John added that the vandalism proves “why we need to keep spreading representation, inclusivity and positivity within the whole of the LGBTQ+ community”.

Speaking to ITV, the artist added: “Pride month is meant to celebrate inclusivity and positivity and not exclude any particular group within the LGBTQIA+ community.

“Even though Pride month is over, these issues still exist. So, what happens next? How are we going to work together as a community to make sure that trans and non-binary people don’t feel ostracised?

“This is more than Pride month. I think it’s something that needs to be considered for the whole year and not just a month.”

John cleaned the mural, repaired the trans flag element and removed all offensive stickers. 

The potential for the artwork to be targeted was one the John and Coastal Housing had discussed, with the artist stating “it could potentially be considered controversial, but you hope society has changed a little bit”.

‘We’re gutted to see hate like this’

Debbie Green, Coastal Housing’s chief executive, told PinkNews: “We were gutted to see hate like this, on our doorstep, directed at a community that includes members of our team and [who] we stand alongside as a company. 

“King’s Lane is a thoroughfare for many of our staff and responses have included anger, hurt and frustration that such prejudice still exists in the city in 2023.

“Having commissioned the Pride Progress flag, we naturally felt a responsibility to address the damage quickly once we were made aware of it. We also reported the incident to the police.”

Last month, a lesbian couple were left “heart-broken” after their Pride doormats were stolen and vandalised. Following the attack, they spoke out about the support they received from their neighbours. 

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