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Out city councilwoman says someone vandalized her front porch in act of anti-LGBTQ+ hate

Fresno City Councilwoman Annalisa Perea
Fresno City Councilwoman Annalisa Perea Photo: Devin Bovee Photography/courtesy of

An out city councilwoman in California says that her home was vandalized, which she suspects was a threat related to her support of the local LGBTQ+ community.

According to GV Wire, Fresno City Councilwoman Annalisa Perea told attendees at a Wednesday breakfast for Confía, the Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation, that her support for the city’s LGBTQ+ community has “really put a big target on my back.”

“I had people come to my front door and do really horrific things on my front porch,” she said.

The first openly gay member of the Fresno City Council later clarified that someone recently left butane tanks on her front porch. GV Wire reports that police confirmed that on April 23, “flammable material” was left on Perea’s porch along with a candy bar but that they were unable to find evidence that could link the incident to a hate crime.

Last month, Perea told The Fresno Bee that she had received “vulgar remarks” while walking hand-in-hand with her partner. “Luckily, that’s the extent to which I’ve received hate,” she said at the time.

“Whether I’m holding my partner’s hand in the Tower District or in north Fresno, I cannot let fear of the what ifs when it comes to bigotry in this community… I cannot let the fear stop me from showing my partner love. I never will,” Perea said.

In July, The Fresno Bee reported that hate crimes in the area reached an eight-year high in 2022, with six instances in which gay men were targeted and two in which transgender people were targeted that year. Perea noted an April 2023 incident in which a local LGBTQ+ friendly church was vandalized and an October 2022 attack on an LGBTQ+ couple in Fresno’s Tower District, as well as anti-LGBTQ+ laws that have been passed in states across the country recently.

“It’s really sad to see that we are regressive as a nation when it comes to equality,” she said.

“I want every person from the LGBTQ community to feel they shouldn’t have to fear when it comes to holding their partner’s hand or showing any level of affection,” Perea added. “I did not have a lot of people I could look up to when I came out in my early 20s. That’s what makes it important for me to use my voice because I want to be a resource for someone who is having a hard time coming out or looking for resources.”

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