Metro Weekly staff believe vandals have targeted their distribution boxes in Dupont Circle, K Street and Logan Circle.
Staff said they began noticing the vandalism less than a month ago, according to Publisher Sean Bugg.
Metro Weekly is the largest LGBTQ publication in the D.C. area, according to its website.
“At first there were stacks of magazines thrown all over [the] ground, and in Metro stations they would be thrown into the trash,” Bugg said.
The vandalism increased as human and animal waste, rotting garbage, food and banana peels were found in the distribution boxes, according to Bugg.
Bugg said he felt upset by the vandalism not only because of its attack on the LGBTQ community, but also because it added extra stress to his staff.
The Metropolitan Police Department Gay Lesbian Liaison Unit is looking into the case and has been in contact with the Metro Weekly staff, according to Bugg.
Bugg said he believes the vandalism is discrimination-based.
“We are the only box targeted in the area,” he said. “But it is not just an attack on our publication; it is an attack on our LGBT readers.”
There has been no significant vandalism since last publication on Sept. 20. Bugg said he feels the vandalism may spike over the weekend, although Metro Weekly distributes every Thursday.
The purple Metro Weekly distribution box in Tenleytown remains unaffected by the recent defacing.
While the phrase “Mar5” is sprayed on the side of the box, no other signs of destruction are apparent.
Bugg said he was very proud of his staff for handling the situation so well.
“We’ve been in the business awhile,” he said. “Even though it is disheartening to realize this isn’t going to stop, they are strongly committed to the cause, job and publication.”
Campus LGBTQ advocates outraged
Although the recent vandalism of Metro Weekly distribution boxes took place off campus, many AU students felt this problem hit home.
“While living and going to school on such an accepting campus, we sometimes forget the types of heinous crimes that take place just down the street from us,” Executive Director of Queers and Allies Ray Bowman said. “This is a reminder that animosity toward the LGBTQ community still exists.”
Director of LGBTQ Advocacy Tyler Bowders said he considers the act indirect violence toward the LGBTQ community.
“More needs to be done to address the ignorance that still permeates through even the most progressive of areas, ” he said.
Bowders said he feels LGBTQ acceptance is still lacking nationwide.
“Coming from a small, conservative, town I’ve found that in most cases hate stems from fear which itself comes from a lack of knowledge, many people just don’t know what it means to be LGBTQ, and it scares them,” he said.
Metro Weekly said they hope to catch the vandals and end the discrimination against the publication, according to Bugg.
“It is either someone angry at the gay community or at the Weekly, but it is definitely not someone rational,” Bugg said. “It’s not rational to throw poop, and it is not rational to have this level of hate.”