Michael Patrick, News Sentinel

Vandal Destroys LGBT Center’s Pride Flag, Leaves “Fags Get AIDS” Sign In Its Place

"We're still here no matter what someone does to a flag."

Vandals tore down a rainbow flag outside the Pride Center at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville this weekend, replacing it with a threatening note that read “Fags get AIDS more often.”

It’s the latest in a string of homophobic attacks since the center’s director, Donna Braquet, penned an article last year encouraging the school to adopt the use of gender-neutral pronouns.

aids, rainbow flag

“Glad to see how welcoming this campus is coming back from a long weekend,” wrote Thomas Tran, who shared photos of the incident on the center’s Facebook page.

“All of this was found this morning. Someone decided to exercise their freedom of speech and left us a message after destroying our flag. This is what we are up against,” Tran added. “This is the type of thing that will most likely get swept under the rug by [an] administration who do not care for us.”

The center posted about the incident on Twitter.

The University responded, declaring, “Incidents like this have no place on our campus.”

It was one year ago the university removed Braquet’s article about gender-neutral pronouns from the center’s website.

The center has been defunded by state lawmakers and vandalized with broken windows, stolen Pride flags and defaced signs.

“I think [the vandalism] is definitely a pattern within the campus climate,” Pride Center ambassador Chesnea Skeen told The Knoxville News Sentinel.

“We’ve had multiple vandalisms within the last year or so, and they seem to be getting more direct and more personal.”

Skeen says the group has also seen a lot of support, adding “We’re still here no matter what someone does to a flag.”

tenn pride center

You can donate to the Pride Center here.

h/t: Towleroad

Texas native with a penchant for strong margaritas, early Babs and tastefully executed side-eye.