Hate speech, or the work of a gay hobo… You decide


The paint, or chalk, or whatever it was, is almost gone now, but, a week or so ago, someone wrote “LGBT” on the sidewalk in front of my house. I’m still not sure what to make it of it, but here are a few theories that I’ve considered, starting with ones that I think are least likely.

1. I’m being outed as a homosexual… As I’m not a homosexual, I think this scenario is unlikely. But, then again, there is footage on the internet of me in bed with a large Jordanian bartender. Regardless, though, if someone had wanted to expose me as gay, I think that they would have chosen to use a term a little more inflammatory than “LGBT”. At least I can’t remember the last time a bigot was caught spraying something other than “gay” or “faggot” on the property of a gay couple. It would be like if a Klansman spray painted “African American” on the side of someone’s house.

2. “LGBT” doesn’t stand for “Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender” at all, but some kind of LOL-like leetspeak acronym, like “Laughing at your Great Blog Tonight.” Is that a thing? If not, why not?

3. It’s not me that it’s about at all, but someone else in my family… or, more likely, all of us. What if the “LGBT” indicated that our household had one of each? What if the graffiti was meant to identify us as winners in some kind of sexual Yahtzee – four people, each identifying with one letter of “LGBT”? I know it’s unlikely in our case, as the kids are just kids, but I like the idea that somewhere in town there’s a house with a gay man, a lesbian woman, a bisexual, and someone who identifies as transgender. And I like the idea of them winning something for that achievement, even if it’s just a chalked “large straight” on their front doorstep… which would be kind of ironic, wouldn’t it?

4. There’s a new gay gang in town, and they’re marking their turf in violet chalk.

5. It’s a sign indicating to other LGBT folks that we’re friendly, kind of like how Depression era hobo’s would scratch signs into people’s fences and the like to indicate to their fellow tramps where they might find a “kindhearted lady,” a sandwich, or medical assistance.

And it’s that last one that I’m going with. Whether it’s what actually happened or not, I like the idea that our house was identified as one in which all people, regardless of sexual orientation, might get a fair shake… Maybe not a free sandwich, but at least a fair shake.

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  1. Edward
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 5:05 am | Permalink

    I love hobo signs. They should be used more in everyday life.

  2. alan2102
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 5:05 am | Permalink

    And your next post will be about something even MORE significant… like say how the hall light bulb needed changing?

  3. Edward
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    I’m with you, Alan. Four posts in a row about Edward Snowden are not enough!

  4. Mr. Y
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    “How many trolls does it take to screw in a light bulb?”

  5. anonymous
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Y, I have a few potential answers to your riddle.

    1. “RON PAUL!”

    2. “OBAMA IS BLACK!”

  6. Eel
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    I like the idea of calling it a “large straight” when you have a household with one person of every sexual persuasion. You should trademark that.

  7. Elliott
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    How many libertarians does it take to change a lightbulb?

    One. Any more would be Communism.

  8. Mr. X
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    There was, not too long ago, another gay themed chalking episode in Ypsilanti. I doubt this is related, but it could be. As I understand it, a drunken person somewhere in town made some bigoted comments toward his neighbors, who happen to be a very well liked lesbian couple. Well, other people in the neighborhood, when they became aware of the incident, responded by leaving messages of support for the couple all around their house, written in chalk on their sidewalk. It was very sweet.

  9. Lisa Marshall Basher
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    I’m going out and chalking LGBT on my sidewalk. I feel left out.

  10. koosh
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    the disturbing thing about this episode is that the lettering was quickly covered up so no one could read it.

    i’m worried what mark would say about this if he were ever deposed Paula Deen-style.

  11. Eel
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Worse yet, what if he was made love to Paula Deen-style?

  12. ChelseaL
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    I love it, Mark. Let’s not forget another possibility: serious substance abuse!

    In Trumbull, Connecticut, we saw signs for “GBT,” which turned out to stand for “Greater Bridgeport Transit.” Not the most fortunate initials.

  13. Kevin
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    I love acronyms!

    Lynette Got Bacon Tonight
    Let’s Go Bowling Together
    Leave George Bush There
    Liver Got Brutalized Tonight
    Listen, Great Beings Thrive

  14. MO4
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 12:36 am | Permalink

    Obama is genetically engineering an army of gay hobos to fight alongside his elite Black Panther forces. This is his end game, people. We are watching it unfold right before our eyes. We will all be in death camps soon.

  15. hobo tom
    Posted July 5, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    I just jumped off a freight train passing through Ypsilanti, as I was told that the houses were well marked where a gay hobo might find sexual gratification. Apparently, though, all of these markings were left in chalk, and were washed away during the recent storms. So now I’m weighing my options. Wait until the morning when I can go to the library and post something on Craigslist, or just knock on random doors asking, “Is there a charitable man who lives at this address who might be willing to blow a vagabond?”

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