During LGBT+ History Month, Birmingham’s inclusive hub, the LGBT centre, was vandalised with homophobic graffiti. Staff working at Birmingham LGBT Centre – a leading charity advocating for and support the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer community in Birmingham and neighbouring authorities – were dismayed to see an offensive, vulgar and queerphobic message scratched into the glass of their front door on Monday, February 6. The graffiti, which cannot be removed easily, has temporarily been covered with a Pride flag until the centre can arrange a permanent removal.
Management at the LGBT+ centre have reported the incident to West Midlands Police. Anyone with any information regarding the homophobic vandalism is being urged to contact the police to report it.
Steph Keeble, director of Birmingham LGBT, told I Am Bham, “People felt upset at the vandalism and angry at the damage to the LGBT centre we had our windows put through twice in lockdown.
“I feel really cross that this has happened again we have worked hard to make sure the community have a safe space and this level of violation and vandalism is not acceptable, it is clearly a hate crime and clearly motivated by hate, and I don’t think it’s okay that staff or service users should be greeted with that when they arrive at the building.
“It’s also an additional expense to fix it that we don’t need as a small charity. I have told the staff to cover it with a rainbow flag until we can get it fixed so we can reclaim our pride in our centre.
“I think there has been an increase in homophobic, biphobia and transphobic hate crime over the last few years. Birmingham LGBT as an organisation supporting LGBTQ+ people have experienced three incidents of criminal damage. Our windows were broken twice during lockdown when no other business in the area were targeted, and a number of incidents of malicious communication in the last couple of years.”
Steph adds: “My message to the LGBTQ+ community in Birmingham this LGBT History month is stay strong, stay safe and be proud. The LGBT centre will continue to open and serve our community and we wish you all a safe and fun LGBT+ History Month.”