A same-sex couple dodged a bullet shot through their front window after they flew a trans Pride flag outside their home.
Jady Morelli, who is trans, has lived happily with her partner Amy Russell in Michigan’s Allendale county for the past 12 years.
Ever since they raised the flag they’ve had their property repeatedly vandalised, culminating on Monday (October 19) when a bullet smashed through their window.
“This is assault and it could’ve killed someone,” Russell said.
The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that it was investigating the matter, but suggested that target practice is not uncommon in the rural area.
However, the couple have no doubt that the act of violence was intentional, as it wasn’t the first time it had happened to them.
“Ever since we put the transgender flag up, we’ve had our property vandalised and it’s a hard thing to go through,” Morelli said.
“It just brings it right home that there are people out there who want to hurt you for who you are.”
First, a mailbox they built for their elderly neighbour was smashed a few days after being put up. The mailbox was painted bright purple and stood in their yard, not their neighbour’s, so Morelli and Russell believed the vandalism was intended for them.
Then in 2017, the trans flag that hangs in front of their door was ripped in half. Later in summer 2019, Morelli and Russell’s window shutters, which were painted in trans Pride colours, were ripped off their home.
Despite the repeated attacks, the couple are determined to keep the flag flying.
“Everybody should and has the right to express themselves,” Morelli said. “This is not meant to be a threat to anybody. It’s just a statement to other people out there like me: We exist.”
“Honestly, it’s not about cis people. It’s for other trans people, especially trans kids in this community,” Russell added. “They need to know they’re not alone. Jady grew up knowing what it’s like to feel alone.”
Anyone with information about the attack is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at 616.738.4000 or Silent Observer at 877.887.4536.