Hundreds gathered Wednesday evening at the Galería de la Raza, in unity to rally for Chicano LGBT Mural by Manuel Paul, that’s been repeatedly vandalized, but more importantly the entire Latino community. The most recent ‘hate-crime’ happened Monday June 29th around 11PM, when the mural covering the outside wall of Galería de la Raza was torched.
What a turn out! The strength in community and the power of voice, through the numerous speeches by members of the community overwhelmed the crowd that took over the street corner at 24th and Bryant Street. Well known San Francisco politicians including David Campos and Tom Ammiano lifted the spirits of the diverse crowd. What touched me most was that no one spoke of anger or hate toward the person or people who vandalized the mural but opened their arms and hearts and invited them to join in the healing needed. Compassion shown in ways I myself have trouble understanding. I left rally proud, changed, and schooled in community, love, and forgiveness.
Speakers at the rally included District Supervisor David Campos, former State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, local trans Mission resident Luciano Sagastume, artist René Yañez, one of the founders of the Galería, and present director, Ani Rivera, any many other diverse members of the community united.
It is clear, that there is an ongoing conversation needed within the queer community as well as community as a whole. This recent act of vandalized seemed to have backfired for those who committed the crime, instead of tearing apart or taking down the community, it has brought hundreds of people together, from diverse communities, with the common goal of peace and acceptance.
Support and find out more about Galería de la Raza at galeriadelaraza.org