Ryan Gierach, a gay Air Force veteran, has been harassed by some of his neighbors in San Pedro, California.
Gierach told KTLA that the harassment began two years ago when he moved into the area:
When I came here my neighbors directly across from me began calling me names — all of them revolving around gay epithets.
Gierach said when he hung rainbow flags in honor of LGBT pride month (June), the neighbors began shouting anti-gay comments, throwing garbage, calling him names, and spitting on him.
Additionally, someone in the neighborhood has posted flyers falsely accusing Gierach of being a “a child molesting sex offender,” followed by a slur, and his home address.
Shedrick Davis, a lawyer with the LGBT advocacy organization Lambda Legal, told KTLA this type of harassment is common for LGBT people:
This is relying on an old gay stereotype that gays are pedophiles, long disproven by all science. This counts as slander.
Gierach said he was discharged from the Air Force for being gay in 1979, and has since worked as a journalist:
For 20 years now I’ve covered this sort of thing happening to other people. And it hurt me deeply every time it happened to other people.
Gierach has filed numerous police reports, and police are investigating.