Black-led LGBT+ Community Centre Targeted In Hate Crime

A man wielding a golf club shattered the windows of the Oakland LGBTQ Community Center in California in what its management says was a targeted attack.

Joe Hawkins, one of two center co-founders, said in a Facebook post that the center was targeted because it is a LGBTQ organization founded and led by two Black gay men. Hawkins and Jeff Myers founded the centre in 2017.

“Our organization is Black-led and queer. We have a large banner on our window that says Black LGBTQ Lives Matter Too!” Hawkins said. “We are clear that this was a hate crime that could have caused us to be targeted because we are Black and because we are LGBTQ.”

Hawkins said witnesses saw a bicyclist wielding a golf club approaching the center shortly after 10 a.m. Saturday.

“He had a golf club with him and began smashing our windows and yelling expletives,” Hawkins said.

One of the vendors yelled at the man to stop, but witnesses told Hawkins that the man, “hopped on his bike and rode off” from the center. In photos posted to the center’s Facebook, plywood can be seen covering the shattered windows.

“I want to first thank everyone who showed up to help us clean up and everyone offering support to us through this difficult and emotional time,” Hawkins said. “We appreciate you so much.”

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