Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

Panther Press

Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

Panther Press

Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

Panther Press

Panther Playlist

Swarthmore rainbow crosswalks targeted in homophobic vandalism

Members of the LGBTQIA+ community in Swarthmore were shocked to learn about the vandalism of their Pride crosswalks.
Pride+Crosswalk+in+Swarthmore
Annabella Larin ’27
Pride Crosswalk in Swarthmore

On November 5, residents of the Swarthmore community noticed that one of the two freshly painted rainbow crosswalks were vandalized—spraypainted with the words ‘no gays,’ as well as multiple other homophobic slurs and images.

The idea for rainbow crosswalks was originally pitched to the town borough by a student at Swarthmore College, who wanted to install them to represent and support the LGBTQIA+ community. Even when the student was unable to complete their work, the members of Swarthmore soon came together and raised enough money to complete the project.

The crosswalks are a work in progress in the Swarthmore area, with a third planned to be painted in 2024.

Swarthmore Borough Manager William Webb called the recent vandalism “a straight up act of hatefulness.”

The vandal was not caught, due to the lack of security cameras on the crosswalk’s corner. However, after the vandalism occurred, members of the Swarthmore community banded together to repaint the crosswalks and fix the damage.

After the vandalism occurred, members of the Swarthmore community banded together to repaint the crosswalks and fix the damage.

“Through this, we’re now looking at installing additional cameras in the downtown area,” Webb said. “We have some, but we don’t have as many as we could have, so we’ll be working with the college early next year and look at installing some more cameras in the town center, as well as at Borough Hall.”

Members of Swarthmore and surrounding communities, including Haven students, were saddened to hear about the hateful acts that occurred.

“I actually wasn’t aware that they were vandalized, but it’s honestly not surprising to me at all,” sophomore Pearl Tweedy said.  “I would assume that something like this would happen, but it is a little bit upsetting and it does show that while some people say that there is this ‘wokeness’ going on in America in general, we really aren’t that progressive. There’s still a lot of hate in our country. And it’s just disappointing.”

In the end, though, what truly warmed the hearts of many Swarthmore residents was the community’s efforts in repainting the crosswalks.

“As President of Swarthmore Pride, and as the head organizer for installing the Pride crosswalks, I felt it was my responsibility to repair them as quickly as possible. I’m sure the vandals had no idea the emotional impact it would have on the community,” President of Swarthmore Pride Martha Perkins said.

Perkins was the one to organize the repainting of the crosswalks. Community members offered to help and gave their thanks when they saw the work that Perkins and other volunteers were doing to help make the town feel more inclusive and welcoming.

“I would just like to say that if you’re a part of a marginalized community, and you feel alone, and you feel scared, or if you feel like you can’t be your true self, that there are people out there who will love you and care for you, and just want you to have the opportunity to be your true self,” Perkins said. “We’re here to support you.”

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Evie Fernandez '27, Haven Happenings Editor
Evie Fernandez is a writer for the Panther Press. When she's not working on the Panther Press, she enjoys marching band, tennis, singing in camerata, listening to music, and reading!
Donate to Panther Press
$200
$600
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of The Panther Press. Contributions allow us to cover our website hosting costs, continue to print new issues, fund staff training, and purchase equipment.

More to Discover
Donate to Panther Press
$200
$600
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

We encourage reader comments and opinions on the content posted on The Panther Press and its social media accounts. In order to keep the discussions aligned with the purpose of our student publications, we ask commenters to follow the following guidelines. 1) Different viewpoints and opinions are welcome, but comments must demonstrate respect. Profanity, insults, spam, personal attacks, bullying language, hate speech, and language demonstrating intolerance are unacceptable. 2) Comments will be managed by the Social Media Editor and Editors in Chief, with support from the adviser. Inappropriate comments will be removed. 3) On stories and social media, please keep comments brief. If you would like to elaborate on your opinion, we encourage you to submit a guest commentary or letter to the editor. 4) The Panther Press does not permit anonymous comments on stories posted to our website. All comment postings require a verified email address. Email addresses will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All Panther Press Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *