Lecturer at SMU hit by vandalism

Posted on 30 Mar 2006 at 8:50pm
By Tammye Nash Staff Writer

Sticker designating Henson’s office as GLBT safe place defaced

George Henson, a lecturer in Spanish at Southern Methodist University, makes no secret of the fact that he is gay.

On Monday morning, he got a vivid reminder that not everyone is okay with that when he found that the rainbow-colored sticker on his office door one that identifies his office as a safe space for GLBT students had been defaced. Someone had used a black marker to scrawl the word “faggot,” in capital letters, across the sticker.

The sticker read “Allies,” and indicated that Henson participates in a program through which staff and faculty members can identify themselves as supportive of GLBT students, and their offices as safe spaces for those students.

Henson also writes a weekly column for the university’s newspaper, The Daily Campus. He said he has often discussed his orientation in that column. He also uses that forum to criticize what he sees as the shortcomings of the Bush administration.

His March 24 column was one of those critical of the president and his policies. Henson believes it was that column that provoked some Bush supporter to deface his office door. He said that his office is located at the end of a hall without a nearby exit, so the person who defaced his door must have come to the office with the intent of doing so.

“We don’t get a lot of traffic through here. This wasn’t somebody just passing by who decided to do this on a whim,” he said.

Henson said a colleague whose office is across the hall from him was the first to notice the vandalism and pointed it out to him. His initial reaction was, so what?

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, March 31, 2006.

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