Southern Indiana city rejects LGBTQ decoration, faces backlash πŸ’₯πŸ‘©πŸ‘©πŸ’₯

LOOGOOTEE β€” Last summer, Kayla Whaley had to wait for local law enforcement to arrive before she could sweep up the shattered glass from her living room floor.

A brick had just sailed through her window, disrupting Whaley and her partner’s quiet movie night. It lay amid the glass shards.

That was only the first brick thrown that night. A few hours after the police had taken note of the damages and left, more bricks struck the house’s exterior. While the police didn’t catch the assailant, Whaley remembers how the nearby cornfield rustled with faint movement, this seemingly invisible enemy quickening the kicking drumbeat of her heart.

For Whaley, it felt like her home, once a safe haven, was now under siege. This fear only solidified when Whaley’s car was struck with bricks in their driveway a few days later.

Fearing for her family’s safety, Whaley adopted a “Clint Eastwood”-type persona, puffing out her chest and investigating her property whenever their new surveillance equipment picked up any motion.

“I kind of had to pretend to be a Billy Badass and just sit on the porch with 20 gauge so that we could have a little bit of peace of mind,” Whaley recalled.

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This incident reaffirmed what Whaley already suspected to be the truth: She and her spouse aren’t safe in Loogootee, Indiana.

“I’ve gotten to the point where I can’t even go into the grocery store. I’ll have people around me and I will start crying and run out. I have panic attacks in the middle of the night,” Whaley said. “I’m so afraid of getting hurt β€” or worse.”

Speaking with The Herald-Times, half a dozen openly LGBTQ+ residents spoke about their troubling experiences living in Loogootee.

Drivers in passing vehicles have extended their middle fingers at one same-sex couple while they walk along the street. Another couple described being called slurs at a public pool. A potential job opportunity dried up as soon as one woman mentioned her partner.

Several people recalled how they didn’t often leave their house or speak to strangers soon after they came out.

Local LGBTQ+ activists such as Whaley believe visibility is the first step to acceptance, but when a local gay couple requested decorations be placed on city-owned property for Pride month, city officials rejected it.

Southern Indiana city rejects LGBTQ decoration, faces backlash

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