New York City-based HIV/AIDS advocacy nonprofit Visual AIDS received a homophobic and racist fax earlier this week.
Executive Director Nelson Santos was working late at the Visual AIDS offices when the fax signed by “Mrs. Gas the Gays” came through. Addressed to “Faggot” the message reads, “Kill yourself you fucking kike fags, I hope you all die a slow painful death.”
The n-word is also written in the message as well.
“I was thrown for a loop,” Santos told Mic.com. “I haven’t gotten a hate fax in an awful long time. No one really sends faxes — and particularly a hate fax. It was so odd.”
On my way out of the office, this #HateMail came in by fax (yes, fax!?!). Sender #mrsgasthegays. Getting this by fax reminded me of the file of faxes and letters Visual AIDS would get in the early years of the AIDS crisis – and also a stark reminder that the racism, homophobia and hate is not over. #thehateisreal
“I wanted to brush it off, but as soon as I walked out the door, I did feel more unsafe than I did before,” Santos said. “It’s always those reminders of that, like, there are people out there that hate you.”
“I don’t necessarily think the person who sent this is waiting for me outside, but it does trigger that very uncomfortable idea of, I don’t know, maybe that person is threatening us.”
Hate crimes in major US metropolitan areas have increased significantly since the election of Donald Trump last November. Many of those hate crimes are targeted at Jewish people, Muslims and members of the LGBTQ community.
CV Independent notes, “In New York City alone, there were 55 anti-Semitic crimes reported from Jan. 1 to March 5 of this year, up 189 percent from 19 such incidents in the same period of 2016.”
“I think it does open up the floodgates for people to feel more brazen to break out their fax machine and send out a hate fax again,” he said. “To me, it seems to go hand in hand.”
After news broke of the homophobic fax, faxes of love began to pour into Visual AIDS as well.