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Gayway vandalized

Gayway volunteer David Szeryk surveys the damage Credit: Matt Mills photo

The front window of the Gayway office was smashed in Jul 12 in an apparent act of vandalism.

Surveillance footage of the attack taken from a camera inside Gayway at 913 Davie St shows the large window with the big orange “G” exploding inward from the top right corner at 7:59 am. But no clues about the perpetrator were recorded and no projectile was found inside the office. No one entered through the hole and nothing was stolen.

“We’re suspicious about the possibility that this was a homophobic act,” says Phillip Banks, director of HIV prevention services at AIDS Vancouver.

Banks says it could well be just a random act, but he carefully points out that nothing was stolen, none of Gayway’s neighbours suffered any damage and the one window with the big orange “G” for “Gayway” seems to have been the only target.

“Originally, the Vancouver Police Department weren’t going to send a police officer because they thought it was just a broken window,” says Banks. “But when they found out it was us, they sent a constable down to investigate and look at the possibility it was something other than straight vandalism.”

Banks says Gayway staff received a homophobic, threatening and anonymous e-mail recently, and that they forwarded it to police, but that he has no idea if it might somehow be connected with the attack on the window.

Gayway, an AIDS Vancouver project, has been in the same location since 2003 and is billed as a gay men’s resource exchange designed to bring gay men together in an effort to build a stronger community by cultivating assets instead of bemoaning deficits.