Residents of Newberry, a small town in Florida, rally in support of Alecia Abel
Neighbours of a transgender woman who was threatened in her home have rallied together in support of her.
Alecia Abel and her wife Liz live in Newberry, a small town in Florida, which has a population of some 6,000 people.
Just weeks after Alecia started transitioning someone vandalised their home, spray painting on their garage door “move or die tranny f**k.”
Following the attack, neighbours have been offering food, to cover the graffiti with paint and even to help install security cameras at the couples home.
One local activist also organised a small protest in the local community, in support of Alecia and Liz and to reject violence against trans people.
Melina Farley-Barrat spoke to a local news station during the planned action.
“It’s about changing the culture, people like us who have the ability to show up and be present and say I’m here and I count and I matter,” she said. “That’s important for those that just don’t understand to be able to learn from and if we don’t do that then the culture doesn’t change.”
Liz and Alecia also spoke to the WCJB local news and said that they have no plans to move house.
“For the most part, I feel people fear what they don’t know and they choose to lash out to make themselves feel better,” Liz said. “They feel justified in their actions without recognising their immorality.”
The Mayor of Newberry also made a statement of support to the pair and called them to apologise for whoever did the vandalism.
“When I called them, first and foremost, I wanted to know that they were safe. I have respect for [the sheriff’s office] but I wanted to be sure they were taking the threat seriously and everything that could be done to ensure their safety was being done,” Marlowe reportedly said.
“I wanted to make sure they understood that there was no room in their elected representatives’ hearts for this kind of behaviour and message.”
Deputies came across the vandalised home in Newberry early Friday morning. Sheriff’s Sgt. Brett Rhodenizer said it occurred between 9pm Thursday and 3 am Friday morning.
Police are still searching for the perpetrator.