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Community won't let vandalism tarnish the celebration of Transgender Day of Visibility

Posted at 6:19 PM, Mar 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-31 18:19:04-04

BALTIMORE — Every year on March 31, many people around the nation celebrate Transgender Day of Visibility.

According to PFLAG, which is the United States' first and largest organization uniting parents, families, and allies with people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer.

The day is used to honor the accomplishments in the LGBTQ + community and raise awareness about the hardship some face.

However, in Baltimore City, instead of celebrating the day, organizers of the nonprofit Baltimore Safe Haven, mourned as they learned their facility located on Charles St. was vandalized with death threats.

The nonprofit is a pillar in the LGBTQ + community as they offer housing services, HIV testing, harm reduction services, and more.

Organizers say the harassment is an ongoing issue, but members of the nonprofit say it worsened ever since they announced the Pride Festival is making a comeback this year.

Program managers woke up Thursday morning to their facility covered in graffiti and words of hate wishing them death.

"I'm afraid for the safety not only for myself but also for the people behind me that look like me. Baltimore we really need help in the trans community," said Founder and Executive Director Iya Dammons.

Baltimore City State's Attorney, Marilyn J. Mosby issued the following statement:

“I am disgusted to learn about the transphobic and homophobic graffiti that was painted on the property of Baltimore Safe Haven. Hate has no home in our city, and we will work with our partners to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice. To have this happen to such a wonderful organization on International Transgender Day of Visibility is doubly heartbreaking. We send our love and support to Safe Haven, and to all our beautiful friends in the Trans Community on this important day.”

However, members of the nonprofit expressed no desire to stop their work. They say the Pride Festival is still in effect and will take place on June 4, 2022.