Rock vandalized after being painted for transgender visibility

McLean’s rock egged by unknown party days after being painted for trans visibility


Aaron Stark

The rock, which was originally painted for International Transgender Day of Visibility, was egged by an unknown party.

McLean’s rock was the subject of an act of vandalism when eggs were thrown at it on the night of April 9, defacing the transgender flag painted on the surface by the Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA) in celebration of the International Transgender Day of Visibility. The act directly insulted members of McLean’s LGBTQ+ community.
“It makes everyone very angry, upset and fearful,” GSA sponsor Seth LeBlanc said. “People are afraid of what the intentions were. It creates hostility, and people feel like they need to stand up for themselves.”
While some may not view the act as hateful due to no one being physically affected, many queer students feel as if the event represents a deeper insinuation.
“It shows that there is definitely a lack of support,” junior Michael Norton said. “It makes the queer community feel like we have a target on our back, and maybe it’s not the safest place for us.”
The act of hate is not unheard of in the McLean community. In Feb. 2022, the rock was vandalized with phrases such as “ALM,” standing for All Lives Matter, after McLean’s Black Student Union painted the rock for Black History Month. The rock featured phrases such as “Black and proud” and “Black lives matter.”
“I think that it shows that there are people who have thoughts and prejudices that can probably really benefit from talking about it and being educated,” LeBlanc said. “I hope, from my experience…that it is a very small group of students who tend to feel [prejudice.] I think for the most part, students are really supportive here.”
The vandalism in 2022 seemed to bring the community together, as it resulted in a walkout with hundreds of students in attendance and the amplification of Black student voices. Already, a similar—albeit smaller—reaction has taken place on social media, with various Highlanders supporting the LGBTQ+ community online.
The rock, which has always been a reflection of positivity and student identity, has now been perceived as a spectacle of hate. Those affected by the display feel that the act perpetuates hatred against the transgender community.
“It is disheartening to see such a display of hatred in our school environment, where inclusivity, respect, and acceptance should be valued,” GSA president Casey Calabia said. “To some, egging may not be a serious act, but to a community that already faces day-to-day challenges for who we are, even within MHS, it is scary and infuriating.”
Further, a majority of the community feels that the McLean administration did not do enough to investigate and reprimand the vandalism in 2022, therefore leaving a precedent for other acts of hate.
“The McLean administration should not only condemn the perpetrators of this hateful incident, but they should also work to prevent it from ever happening again,” Calabia said. “This can include organizing educational programs and events to raise awareness about transgender visibility, equality and the harmful effects of discrimination.”
Rather than focusing on the negative ramifications of the event, however, the LGBTQ+ community at McLean continues to move forward with their efforts to educate others and break down long-standing prejudices.
“I encourage all McLean students to educate themselves on transgender issues and identity,” Calabia said. “Spreading awareness is important, but it’s vital that McLean students not only uplift trans voices but also listen to them. It is what we do as a community after this that truly defines this moment. While this attack, like all acts based on hate, can have a profound effect on our school, so many more people in our community do support love and diversity.”

Additional reporting by Aaron Stark