COLUMBIA, Tennessee (WSMV) — The Columbia Police Department said it’s a priority to find out who spray-painted a homophobic slur on a woman’s car.
The woman told News4 she believes it may have to do with her pride pictures taken at the downtown square.
On Thursday, Kaylea Calhoun and her younger sister took pictures outside the courthouse for Pride Month.
Joy turned into anger after someone spray-painted a homophobic slur on Kaylea’s car on Sunday.
“I think that it’s disgusting especially during the month that we get to celebrate being free to do what everybody else can do,” Calhoun said.
Sunday afternoon, Kaylea came home after seeing her mom at the hospital. She went to go inside to change and came out to see her car vandalized.
She’s never had any problems in her quiet neighborhood until now.
“The fact that it’s still there, it diminishes a lot of self-confidence and a lot of my self-esteem that I have built up over the years,” Calhoun said.
Columbia’s mayor, Chaz Molder, issued a statement on Monday:
“This isolated occurrence of homophobic slurs does not define who we are as a community, and I condemn it in the strongest terms. We are a community that is welcoming to all people, and as Mayor, I will continue to work on greater compassion and inclusiveness for everyone, including the LGBTQ+ community. At this time, the incident is under active investigation by the Columbia Police Department, and I will look forward to the outcome of that investigation at which time I will comment further.“
After seeing what happened to Kaylea’s car, the community is now stepping up.
Kaylea’s nurse practitioner, Chandler Anderson, is offering help. He plans to help pay for her car to be repainted.
“I was a 16-year-old emancipated child that had nobody and people helped me along the way and I think you’re supposed to pay things back and help people who need help,” Anderson said.
It’s a gesture Kaylea appreciates as she processes what happened.
“My car is just a materialistic thing. I still have my pride and my spirit,” Calhoun said.
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