LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A gay man in Lexington is speaking out after being a victim of a hate crime.
James Grant Wilson’s security camera video shows the pride flag once hoisted in front of his home being burned by two unidentified suspects early Monday morning on Laredo drive.
“It's a pretty big shock because we're not used to that here [Lexington],” said Wilson.
Looking at the video, Wilson was stunned.
"You can see 'em walking up and that one's holding the phone while both of them are lighting it," said Wilson. “It's kinda unbelievable that they were that brazen.”
Lexington police are investigating the incident as a hate crime and looking for the people responsible.
Wilson says he just wants the people responsible to know why what they did was wrong.
“I don't want to ruin someone's life over something like this, but I want them to be aware that that's not okay," said Wilson. “Gay people do have a right to exist."
Wilson says it’s so offensive because the pride flag is very symbolic to the LGBTQ+ community.
“A flag represents a lot for the gay community,” said Wilson. "You're burning something that represents our ability to be open and out in the community without having to live in fear and that kind of thing makes it feel like we have to go back into hiding.”
Wilson says for him, hiding wasn’t an option.
"I thought well if they're gonna burn one of them, I'll put up two, and if they burn these two, I'll put up three,” said Wilson.
Then he walked outside to see the display his neighbors created on the sidewalk in chalk when they heard what happened.
“I came out a few hours later, and they had done all this chalk on the sidewalk in support and that means a lot. It's very sweet,” said Wilson.
He also refuses to see the incident as a representation of the whole.
“This could happen anywhere,” he said.