Today, my heart was broken. I was sitting in my family room, spending time with my kids and checking my e-mails. The windows were open since it's an absolutely gorgeous day here in my little NE Ohio city, and I happened to notice 3 teenage boys walking down an alley that separates my yard from the neighbor's property. People often use this as a shortcut while driving, but I don't usually see people on foot here. It's a very quiet area.
I asked my teenage son if he knew the boys. He looked out the window and confirmed that he did. He goes to school with them, but never really interacts with them. I just shrugged and went about my business.
Kyle, however, continued to watch, and then said "MOM....They're touching Dan's truck!"
I headed over to the French doors that lead to our deck, and sure enough, these 3 boys were by our truck, doing something...I couldn't tell what from that distance. I COULD hear what they were saying, though, since the windows were open, and I heard the word "Faggot" at least 3 times. As well as plenty of laughter. That was ALL I needed to hear, so I grabbed my phone and headed outside as they ran down the alley.
This is what I found. They egged our vehicle, in broad daylight, simply because they knew this was Kyle's house, and they don't like him because he's gay.
One egg was laying on the hood of our truck, and another on the ground right next to it. That means that these kids had a plan, and executed it. I am fairly certain they don't just walk around with eggs in their pockets. They would have had to either go home or to the store, get eggs, and then come to my house. This was a completely intentional act of hate.
I yelled after the kids, letting them know I caught them in the act. I took a photo as they walked down the street, as well as pictures of our truck. Unfortunately, the photo of the kids was from far away, and is pretty useless. I will not post that here because they are minors.
Then I wrote this note and taped it to the truck, just in case they wandered past my home again I wanted them to KNOW they had been seen, and that we know who they are. .
Luckily for the boys, I am a law abiding citizen and know I couldn't just chase them down and unleash a can of whoop-ass on them. When you mess with my CHILD, my Mama Bear Claws come out. I am absolutely and completely furious, and sad that this even happened in 2015.
I did choose to post these photos in local Facebook groups. (Not the photos of the kids, the photos of the truck and eggs.) My community is incredibly tight-knit, and people look out for one another. Seriously, I could never call another place home.
I have to be honest. I was a little worried about getting more homophobia there. After all, we haven't lived here very long, and my social anxiety makes it hard for me to meet new people and make new friends. I didn't know if anyone would even care what had happened, let alone help to ID these kids so we could report it. (I knew 2 first names and no last names.)
What I encountered was absolutely touching and amazing. While I was worrying about receiving hateful comments, SO many people in my city voiced their support. There were tons of kind words for me, as well as for Kyle. Tons of people that I don't even know were coming forth with kindness, and even offered to help in any way they could. I was absolutely amazed, and I am incredibly grateful to call this small town my home.
Anyway, after being 100% certain we could ID 2 out of 3 boys, I called the school and left a message, and I called my husband, who promptly came home from work. When Dan got home, we called our local police department.
An officer was dispatched, and saw the damage to our vehicle. We talked to him and gave all the info we could, and he assured us that this would not be taken lightly, and that this isn't just a slap on the wrist. The most likely charges will be Criminal Mischief and Menacing, both misdemeanors. The most likely result? Well, that is yet to be determined. Apparently the Resource Officer at the high school is going to be contacted, and if any of the boys are known for being a disciplinary problem, it could lead to harsher penalties.
Now don't get me wrong here. I know that kids can be kids, and that teenagers often make bad decisions. I get that. I just happened to be the Teen from Hell, so I know all too well the trouble that kids can wind up in.
I don't want to ruin these kids' lives. I want them to have bright futures, but learn from their mistake. They came to MY home. They egged MY vehicle. All because they have a problem with the fact that Kyle is gay. This is completely and totally unacceptable, in my opinion, and if we chose to ignore it, it wouldn't fix the root of the problem: Intolerance and hate. If no one speaks out, the world, and our hearts, will never change. So, once again, I am choosing to speak. And, we WILL be pressing charges, and these boys WILL be held accountable for their actions.
I have faith that the police will take care of this promptly. I also have faith that these boys' parents will address the problem as well.
The fact is, this simply should not have happened. My child doesn't deserve to be a target simply because he is comfortable in his own skin. He deserves to feel safe and be accepted for the kind and caring person he is. The fact that he's gay is truly no one's business, and shouldn't matter the slightest bit.
Being the mom of a gay kid can be tough. Not because my son is gay, of course. That is 100% fine with me, and I wouldn't change him if I could. Being Kyle's mom is hard because I know that no matter how hard I try, I will never be able to protect him from everything. There is so much ignorance and bigotry in the world, and sadly, we are a target. I understand that we will encounter these things on occasion.
But no matter how prepared I think I am, I just can't seem to get used to random acts of hate.