The graffiti painting of two men kissing on the gatehouse of the former Tom Nevers Navy base gatehouse that had been completed to coincide with Pride Month was defaced over the weekend.
Local photographer Mark Crosby painted "And Then..." on the small gatehouse structure - which already adorned numerous pieces of graffiti and artwork - earlier this month. At the time, Crosby told the Current “I hope that it might help those still unsure of what’s going on inside,” he said. “I hope it empowers them.”
But less than a month later, the painting has been defaced. At some point late Saturday or early Sunday morning, someone spray-painted over Crosby's artwork, leaving many sad and outraged.
"I’ve been inundated with messages of support from our community, from people wanting to donate money, to repainting the wall, to selling T-shirt’s in their stores, I’m blown away," Crosby told the Current. "It’s a shame that there’s a minority that is so ignorant, so intellectually immature that they had to do this. It hasn’t hurt me, it has empowered me to continue to stand up for my LGBTQ+ friends. Love is love."
It's unclear who is responsible for defacing the artwork, or if there can be any formal recourse through law enforcement authorities as Crosby's work was not sanctioned by the town, which owns the property.
By Sunday afternoon, island resident Anne Stearns, who was upset when she saw what happened to Crosby's painting, decided to head out to Tom Nevers to do what she could.
Stearns wrote "Love Trumps Hate" over the paint that had defaced the original artwork.
"I fixed it," she said.