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Graffiti (with a personal slant?)
#1
Ok, I know I have mostly posted advice to people here and here I am asking you for what you think and what you would advise in such a situation.

You probably know that I live in France, that France is relatively safe for gay men (but there's always that off chance that you might not be, and that you might be targeted).
You probably also know that I am a teacher. What I am about to disclose has had previous instances at school which were duly dealt with. It's about possibly slanderous graffiti.

I've been mildly worrying for some time about some graffiti that I've seen on the inside of our lift (elevator to you North Americans) in our block of flats. Someone has deliberately carved into the sliding doors that close the lift cabin some graffiti that I find not only disgraceful (and ugly) but also potentially harmful (I don't know if I'm being paranoid about it or not).

I've found something that goes along the lines of my initials followed by an equal sign and after the equal sign the equivalent of the word ''faggot''.

So it looks like someone has carved in the metal sheet with a key or something like that a message that looks like
''PA = FAGGOT'' .There are other marks that have been carved into the metal but the initials of that message still stand out.

Some time later, more recently, someone had carved out the first four letters of the number FOUR which is the floor or storey on which we live. As there is no one else on my floor whose initials are the same as mine, I've wondered whether this was a not so subliminal message from someone inside my building who is telling the rest of the building that I am gay. I've never mentioned my being gay to ANYONE in my block of flats. There are about three flats on every floor of this building and the building is tall enough. I also happen to think that we are not the only gay couple in the building, actually. But that is neither here nor there.

First, I've wondered who could be inspired to write that graffiti into the door, and why they would feel that it was all right to carve any graffiti into our elevator / lift door at all. It's unseemly, it looks unclean and unkept, and yet our joint ownership of the building keeps things clean and tidy in all other respects. The hall was redecorated recently and I went to choose the new paint colours with other owners in the building. So the outer doors of the lift have all been freshly repainted, but inside there is still this graffiti, with this message which sticks out everytime I go up or down in it.

I have toyed with the idea of going in there with sandpaper and rubbing it all out (but it's metal and it might not work, or it might look even worse than it does now. Or maybe I should tell the co-ownership trustee to do something about it.

What would you do? What would you do if you felt, in some way, threatened by the presence of this message, even if some might not even give it a second thought. It feels to me as if I'm being singled out for some future mistreatment or abuse. Something akin to the pink triangle.

Am I reading too much into this?

I've told my partner about it, but he hasn't had any idea of how to handle it. I must say I do have an idea where this graffiti might have come from (let's say the perpetrator might be someone I'm thinking of in the building, but I can't see why he would have bothered). Could it be someone else's work? I can't possibly confront said person with this questions anyway. So, what would you suggest?

Looking forward to your ideas on handling the matter. Bear in mind that cleaning the inside door of the lift up would cost the whole community the money.
#2
The first thing that I would question is how well do I know my neighbours and how well my neighbours know me.

Is there anyone who's behavior might be akin to something like homophobia? Agressiveness, hostiliy towards you?

Second, if keeping up a building tidy obviously costs money , is there anyone on the inside that would actually do something on this level of vandalism? It might as well be someone from the outside, cause I would think it more likely than someone from the bulding uglying it up.

But, I would say, keep your locks in check and your eye watchfull. Pay attention to the behavior of the people in that building. Someone that is hateful tends to give him or herself away in some way.

Don't give in to paranoia, but keep a close eye on things.
[Image: 05onfire1_xp-jumbo-v2.jpg?quality=90&auto=webp]
#3
Can't say for sure, but it seems to me like it's someone who doesn't have the guts to do more than direct a little aggression from hiding, like a kid who doesn't want to be caught. I'd also see it as a sign that they can't do much else so that they have to resort to something so trivial because they're incapable of finding something worse to do.

If it were me, I'd bring it up to whoever manages the building (they don't need to know anything about me, just that I saw it, and consider it in bad taste at best, and consider it likely, though not certainly, against me personally though I have no idea who'd do such a thing). Vandalism of any kind is generally not seen in a favorable light, especially if it affects the value of the property or marketability of whatever they're offering (rooms in this case). Hopefully they'd remove it and take some steps to catch whoever did it or otherwise send out a message (by their actions) that such won't be tolerated.

If they didn't then I'd be inclined to look for somewhere else to live. Not out of offense (in fact, it would annoy me that it would seem I was driven off), but because showing such a lack of concern means that when a real problems arise then they'll probably shrug that off, too, as not their concern.

That's just what I would do. Normally I think of vandalism of that nature as someone very immature, hopefully a young teenager who will grow out of it.
#4
Bring it up to your owners association.
Have them repair it
Have a security camera installed to catch whoever is doing this.

Practice personal safety

Be cautious about who you open the door for, or enter the lift with. If your gut instinct tells you something is wrong, trust it. Double back the way you came like you forgot something.

If you trust the local police, I would report this, as it is a message directed at you specifically.
Those who have HATE in their heart are HATEFUL PEOPLE
#5
kindy64 Wrote:Bring it up to your owners association.
Have them repair it
Have a security camera installed to catch whoever is doing this.

Practice personal safety

Be cautious about who you open the door for, or enter the lift with. If your gut instinct tells you something is wrong, trust it. Double back the way you came like you forgot something.

If you trust the local police, I would report this, as it is a message directed at you specifically.

Very much in agreement with this and the previous post also. Just report it as a concerned owner who wants to keep the block clean.

Keep us informed as to how things go.
"You can be young without money but you can't be old without money"
Maggie the Cat from "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." by Tennessee Williams
#6
Pix Wrote:Can't say for sure, but it seems to me like it's someone who doesn't have the guts to do more than direct a little aggression from hiding, like a kid who doesn't want to be caught. I'd also see it as a sign that they can't do much else so that they have to resort to something so trivial because they're incapable of finding something worse to do.

If it were me, I'd bring it up to whoever manages the building (they don't need to know anything about me, just that I saw it, and consider it in bad taste at best, and consider it likely, though not certainly, against me personally though I have no idea who'd do such a thing). Vandalism of any kind is generally not seen in a favorable light, especially if it affects the value of the property or marketability of whatever they're offering (rooms in this case). Hopefully they'd remove it and take some steps to catch whoever did it or otherwise send out a message (by their actions) that such won't be tolerated.

If they didn't then I'd be inclined to look for somewhere else to live. Not out of offense (in fact, it would annoy me that it would seem I was driven off), but because showing such a lack of concern means that when a real problems arise then they'll probably shrug that off, too, as not their concern.

That's just what I would do. Normally I think of vandalism of that nature as someone very immature, hopefully a young teenager who will grow out of it.
To be precise, [MENTION=14705]Pix[/MENTION], I have suspected a teenager who used to be in one of my classes. He's no longer in my class, but then I don't know what would have prompted the slur since he shouldn't know, in any way, anything of my private life. At least not enough to infer that I am gay. What worried me further was the addition (later) of the four letters indicating the fourth floor. That sounded like a direct cue to go looking for me. You can never be too sure.

Thanks for your ideas, and support.
#7
Insertnamehere Wrote:The first thing that I would question is how well do I know my neighbours and how well my neighbours know me.

Is there anyone who's behavior might be akin to something like homophobia? Agressiveness, hostiliy towards you?

Second, if keeping up a building tidy obviously costs money , is there anyone on the inside that would actually do something on this level of vandalism? It might as well be someone from the outside, cause I would think it more likely than someone from the bulding uglying it up.

But, I would say, keep your locks in check and your eye watchfull. Pay attention to the behavior of the people in that building. Someone that is hateful tends to give him or herself away in some way.

Don't give in to paranoia, but keep a close eye on things.

You are quite right, [MENTION=23097]Insertnamehere[/MENTION], and thank you for your concern and ideas. I haven't given in to paranoia or else I'd have done something about this ages ago. The graffiti is hardly new. But interestingly it has appeared since certain people have moved into the building. Therefore I am not going to suspect the old timers, which wouldn't make much sense. However I have no proof that this is directed at me personally, nor that whoever I suspect did it, really did it. What does occur to me is that it is unsightly, in any case, and should be removed to make the building look tidier and cleaner. So I might just tell the trustees to see if something can be done.
#8
Oh, and there is also a black person living on my floor now, with her son. She's very nice, and an agreeable neighbour. I don't suspect it would be her, but maybe that thing about the fourth floor is about her and not about us? Who the hell knows.
I agree that this shows a degree of cowardice and immaturity and low key homophobia if it is homophobia.


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