Couple shocked after discovering homophobic graffiti on garage in Little Portugal
Courtney Greenberg, CTV News Toronto
Published Friday, April 14, 2017 4:03PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, April 14, 2017 7:00PM EDT
A Little Portugal resident said he was overwhelmed by the love and support he has received after homophobic phrases were spray-painted on his garage.
Daniel Malen discovered the graffiti on Thursday and immediately reported it to police, who conducted interviews and took pictures at the scene.
Malen and his husband Aaron Boros said in a Facebook post they found the words “Toronto Hates Queers” spray-painted on the garage door of their home near Dundas and Dufferin streets. Malen is the co-owner of Make It Proud, a Toronto business that prints inclusive LGBTQ greeting cards.
He told CTV News Toronto on Friday the incident was “incredibly unsettling.”
“Living in Toronto you don't like to think that this city is... the city is a wonderful and inclusive city,” he said.
“I love living here… This was the first time I've ever encountered such…hatred and bigotry."
And he wasn’t the only one shocked by this message. Neighbour Frank Vitale said he was stunned when he saw the graffiti.
"When I first saw it I came out. It shocked me. It shocked me quite a bit," he added.
Malen said he hopes the Facebook post about the incident “shames the people who did it.”
“Even though we've always felt blessed to live in an inclusive city such as Toronto — particularly with the way things have gone downhill in the United States under the Trump administration, not to mention the truly tragic news out of Chechnya — this is an awful reminder that Toronto and Canada is far from perfect,” Malen and Boros said in the post.
“The outpouring of affection from the city, our Facebook, Instagram, everything has been bombarded with support and love," Malen told CTV News Toronto on Friday.
According to Malen, police “took this report very seriously.”
Officers later found other spots with the phrase: “It’s okay for women to cross-dress but if you’re a guy who cross-dresses you live on the street.”
Detectives at 11 Division will investigate the incident as a mischief report, said Const. Caroline de Kloet, a spokesperson for Toronto police, because it is too early to classify it as a hate crime.