Gay hate crime victims move to Amarillo
Mon, 29 Oct 2012 22:29:00 GMT —
The gay couple who found 'Leave or Die Fags' spray painted on their front porch in Clarendon has moved to Amarillo.
Joshua Harrison and Jeremy Jeffers said they woke up on October 1 to find their front porch painted with a gay slur along with a death threat.
"It was a nice message painted on our front porch right in front of our door," Harrison said. "The message says 'leave or die fags.'"
Nearly one month later, the couple accepted an almost $3,000 donation.
The donation was coordinated by LGBT blog Owldolatrous Press. People from across the country donated to the fund to help the couple move.
"They really restored my faith in the goodness of humans," Harrison said. "I was really touched when I found out they had raised money for us."
Jeremy and Joshua's story grabbed national attention and was picked up by writers from the Huffington Post and the Washington Post.
"It's been a roller coaster of emotions," Jeffers said. "Going from completely upset and not knowing what to do to having this uplifting experience of having the entire community and family come together to help us to move and to help us to survive."
Equality Texas was able to help the couple find a new home in Amarillo where they can feel safe.
"It's sad that these two men felt unsafe in the community in which one of them had grown up there," Equality Texas Interim Executive Director Chuck Smith said. "No person should ever feel the need to have to leave their home or hometown because they're not safe because of their sexual orientation or gender expression."
Jeremy and Joshua said they are beyond thankful for those who stood up for them.
"It's really uplifting and I've never experienced anything like this," Jeffers said.
The couple said they hope their story inspires others who are maybe in a similar situation.
"I hope it gives them the courage to be able to stand up," Harrison said.
Jeremy and Joshua said they are excited about living in Amarillo and being able to put the past in the past and pay it forward.
"We're ready to move on and rebuild our lives here," Harrison said. "Today on is going to be good thoughts, happy wishes and working hard to make sure I can help out anybody who might need it."