A threatening sign laced with a homophobic slur was seen at the Seneca Avenue subway station in Queens on March 15.
The sign, which read “KILL ALL FAGGOTS,” was discovered at the M line station in Ridgewood by Twitter user Shijuade Kadree (@ShijuadeKadree), whose account identifies her as chief advocacy officer at the LGBT Community Center in Manhattan.
“PSA: This sign was posted at an @MTA station in Queens this afternoon,” Kadree wrote in the March 15 tweet. “I reported it, and while the agent seemed initially concerned, she was also unbothered and didn’t make efforts to remove it. Reminder about how ‘affirming’ and safe NYC is for #LGBTQ folx.”
Queens State Senator Michael Gianaris responded to the initial tweet within a matter of minutes, saying, “Absolutely horrible. Which station was this?”
The New York City Transit (@NYCT)’s Twitter account also responded to the tweet, vowing to take immediate action. Within the next three hours, @NYCT noted that the NYPD had removed the sign.
NYPD Sergeant Jessica McRorie told Gay City News that a harassment complaint in relation to the sign was filed on March 15 at 6:50 p.m. and that the department’s Hate Crime Task Force is currently investigating the case as a “possible biased incident.”
“The investigation is ongoing,” said McRorie, who did not respond to further questions about details surrounding the harassment report.
Gianaris said in a statement on March 16 that he had asked the NYPD to investigate the sign, which he said was “horrifying and unacceptable.” He noted that the LGBT Network, which is an association of non-profits geared toward LGBTQ people in Queens and Long Island, is launching the Queens LGBT Victim Support and Advocacy program for victims of hate crimes and intimate partner violence.
“No one should live in fear because of who they are—especially not in New York City,” he said. “We stand with you and we will get to the bottom of this. Hate will not prevail.”
Kadree could not be reached for comment on March 18.