Police investigating after homophobic graffiti incident in Dartmouth
'Why are we being targeted? Why are we the only ones?' says Tim Gottschall
Halifax Regional Police are investigating after a man says that someone sprayed anti-gay graffiti on the outside wall of his apartment in Dartmouth.
Tim Gottschall and his partner, Devin Moore, saw the homophobic slurs Thursday morning. Gottschall says he no longer feels safe in his own home.
"I was sick to my stomach and I was shocked. I could hardly talk," said Gottschall.
Police said they received the complaint about the incident on Killkee Gate just before 9 a.m. on Thursday.
"The graffiti had already been painted over on police arrival ... however, we were able to view photos that had been taken prior to its removal," police said in a statement. "The photos showed graffiti that was derogatory in nature."
This isn't the first time the couple has been targeted at home, said Gottschall.
When the same thing happened over four years ago, they were too scared to report it.
This time, Gottschall said they decided to call police.
"We thought that society is a little more on our side, more accepting," said Gottschall.
For the last two weeks, they've also been receiving repeated phone calls, he said. On Tuesday night, their car alarm went off and they found scratches on the car.
"Somebody's gunning for us. I don't know what's going on, but it seems to be getting worse," said Gottschall.
"Where are we really living here? Why are we being targeted? Why are we the only ones?"
Gottschall said he hasn't received much support from his neighbours.
However, when a former resident of the apartment complex saw the graffiti online, he decided to organize a march through the neighbourhood.
"It's extremely disheartening," said Jason Spurrell, aka Rouge Fatale. "I did drag out of my house there and I never had an issue."
Spurrell said about 200 people plan on marching on Saturday.
"This is meant to be completely in a positive light and in love. And to not hate. This is peaceful," said Spurrell.
Dartmouth North MLA Susan Leblanc said she's been hearing from residents who are upset and disappointed.
"There is absolutely no place for homophobia, transphobia or any kind of hate in Dartmouth North or anywhere obviously," said Leblanc. "It's deeply upsetting and my heart goes out to people who are affected by it personally."
Neighbour Charley Misener said they're now worried the neighbourhood is unsafe, but they plan to keep a Pride flag up in their window.
"I'm still going to wear the pride, [but] just [be] a little more cautious," they said.
Gottschall remained resilient as well.
"My message is love," he said. "Getting some acceptance, get some people out there and really preach the message that we're all just human beings."