Local authorities are seeking the public’s help in identifying the author of a hate-filled, anti-gay letter sent to the CEO of the Long Island GLBT Network—the third such letter his group has received in the last 18 months.
The most recent letter—sent to two of the GLBT Network’s community centers in Woodbury and Bay Shore—threatened violence against the group’s CEO, David Kilmnick, and was received one day after a proposal for a gay-friendly senior housing facility in Bay Shore was announced.
The three-paragraph letter, typed in all capital letters, is laced with obscenities and hateful remarks about sex acts. It begins with a sarcastic apology—“SORRY WE COULD NOT BLOW YOUR ASS AWAY UP IN HUNTINGTON BACK IN THE SPRING” (during a gay pride parade)—and ends by threatening to “eliminate” Kilmnick and the GLBT Network’s three community centers. It also threatens to eventually burn the not-yet-approved senior housing facility, which the author calls a “SAFEHOUSE,” to the ground.
The sender also takes a shot at Newsday, calling it a “FAG-LOVING” newspaper for publishing “YOUR UNBELIEVABLE GAY MUG IN THE PAPER.”
“WELL GUESS WHAT…..IT WON’T BE SAFE,” the author says of the 55-room proposed rental property, which a developer plans to build on a depressed stretch of Park Avenue. “YOU ARE NOT SAFE….YOU ARE BEING TRACKED…IT IS JUST A MATTER OF TIME UNTIL THE RIGHT MOMENTS ARRIVE TO ELIMINATE YOU AND YOUR LOCATIONS, AND THE ‘SAFEHOUSE’ IS BURNED TO THE GROUND.”
Kilmnick, in a phone interview Friday, said his group received similar letters in June 2013 and another exactly one year later to coincide with an annual LGBT pride parade in Huntington. Both letters were reported to police.
He said the letters have grown angrier in tone since.
“They all had the same tone in terms of its hatefulness and making it clear that they do not like gay people and they certainly don’t like that we’re out there so visible,” Kilmnick said.
“It’s quite disturbing and unnerving,” he added, “and it’s also a wake up call for all of us not to be complacent with all the gains we’ve had with equality in the community.”
He said he’s now more aware of his surroundings, occasionally finding himself looking around for anyone who may have plans to harm him. Police have increased patrols around the community centers in Bay Shore, Woodbury and Sag Harbor, as well as around his home, he said. Despite the threats, Kilmnick stressed that the GLBT Network’s buildings are safe.
“It’s not going to deter me or us from doing what we need to do,” he said.
While discussing the letters to a reporter, Suffolk County police emailed a press release asking anyone with information about the letters to contact the Hate Crimes Unit at 631-852-6181 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.
“What I’m hoping, actually, is…that the person may brag about it to someone, and it’s real important for people to say something if they hear someone bragging about this,” Kilmnick urged. “This isn’t something that should be taken lightly.”