Vandals attempt to ruin Latino artist’s LGBT mural in San Francisco
A mural representing the LGBT people in San Francisco’s Mission District has been vandalised.
The mural is located on 24th Street in the Mission District (the Calle 24 Latino Cultural District) and depicts that of a gay male couple, a transgender man and a lesbian couple. It also features the words ‘Por Vida’ which means ‘For Life’.
It was designed and painted by Manuel Paul of Maricon Collective who are a group consisting of four queer Chicano DJ’s and artists who created this original art. They also raise awareness about other queer Chicano artists.
The defacing of the mural took place on Tuesday morning and was followed by threats on social media directed at the artist. One commenter on the social media website ‘Instagram’ warned on Monday: “This is in talks of being crossed out… All the cholos feel disrespect due to the image of machismo being weakened.” The next day it was vandalised.
The vandals used blue and red spray paint to cross out the gay and lesbians couples’ faces and also the writing included in the mural. Strangely, they did not damage the transgender man initially. They then continued to deface the mural on Thursday by spray painting over his face too.
The mural was intended to be part of the La Galeria’s Pride month exhibition. However, this will not be able to be included as a result of the damage done by the vandals, who have not yet been found.
Social media has seen to have had some users telling others to inflict violence upon anyone in the Mission seen to be wearing clothing with Maricon’s Collective’s logo on it.
In a statement Galeria de la Raza’s executive director, Ani Rivera, said that the vandalism and social media violent threats act as: “Reminders that homophobia is alive and well in our communities; however, we will not let it thrive.”
La Galeria is trying to seek volunteers to help restore Paul’s mural and is asking for the local community to keep watch over it. The gallery is also asking anyone who comes across any threatening behavior on social media to report it.