Defacement of wall unacceptable

Vandalism unamusing, disappointing

Jenna Cook

Walking into school this Thursday, I saw something had been graffitied on the wall I painted as a tradition along with my fellow theatre seniors and thespians to promote our fall show, “9 to 5 the Musical.” I wasn’t made aware the vandalism said “So gay” until I spoke about the incident with my peers. I was incredibly disappointed by the audacity of whoever thought it was okay to degrade something many people have worked so hard on. Especially a show promoting female empowerment.

Using the term “gay” with negative connotations should be long gone from our society at this point. It upsets me that someone thought it would be funny or okay to use the word as an insult.

Thespians have been painting the wall for promotional purposes my entire high school career, and there has never been an incident similar to this. Because the show tells the story of three female victims of assault and harassment from their male boss, it makes me wonder whether this was an act of only homophobia or if the perpetrator was motivated by sexist and misogynistic ideals as well.

I am not angry about the vandalism itself, but I am upset about the connotations communicated by the culprit. I simply wish to know why someone thinks an action like this is acceptable, especially in the current environment where sexual harassment seems to lurk around every corner. The senior wall has been painted countless times for many events since my freshman year alone, and never have I seen something so disgusting portrayed on a space meant for positivity and encouragement.

When the wall is painted for sporting events, the promotion usually garners support from the student body. I don’t see why theatre shouldn’t receive the same kind of encouragement. It makes me wonder whose feelings could have motivated them so strongly to send a message of negativity.

If anything, the defacement has only given me more energy to pour into performing. Energy to prove that as a theater community we are stronger than the hate that has been unexpectedly thrown our way.

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