Hate Speech Messages On Swarthmore Campus Target LGBT and Asexual Communities

swarthmore sidewalk chalk

Photo from Swarthmore’s “Daily Gazette”

This Monday night, in honor of LGBT History Month, some students at Swarthmore College got together to write some pro-gay messages on sidewalks around campus. The writings comprised funny little sayings, like “Queers eat here,” scribbled outside popular dining spot Sharples, and “George and Molly are queer,” was written outside Clothier in reference to two dogs who call the bookstore home.

It was all fun and games, meant to spread a message and put a smile on people’s faces the following morning, but things turned ugly before the sun came up. Around 2 a.m., students found the original markings replaced with hate speech, phrases like “Gays can’t make kids w/o a petri dish,” “For true equality let the women rape the men.”

There were also markings that went after the asexual, or Ace, community. Swarthmore’s Daily Gazette has more:

Many students felt uncomfortable and unsafe because of these chalkings. In response to a chalking outside of Willets that said “procreator pride,” one student, who asked to be referred to as AL ‘17, said, “As someone who is asexual and plans not to have kids through childbirth, it was kind of like a gut punch. [..] You forget that at a place like Swarthmore there are still people who will hate and judge me just for being me […] I didn’t want to see it, I didn’t want to think about it, I did not want that to invade my space.” …

AL was comforted by the pro-queer chalkings, saying, “As a closeted asexual last year, it was very nice walking to class and seeing an Ace Pride chalking. And even though I couldn’t interact in the dialogue, it was still very moving to me.”

One of the more sexually explicit messages, “#fuckherrightinthepussy,” was particularly rattling to one student who had survived rape:

One queer student in the class of 2017, who asked to remain anonymous, said when they heard about the rape chalking, it made them feel unsafe. “You just trivialized my status as a survivor, you totally took everything that I’ve gone through and made it into this sad attempt at a political statement. It’s not okay, it’s not acceptable,” they said. “I’m also a part of [Acquaintance Sexual Assault Prevention (ASAP)], and you’re just missing the point of everything a group like ASAP [stands] for. I couldn’t believe someone like that is at Swarthmore.”

For more on the story, go here.