Homophobic slur etched into Murfreesboro man's door - WKRN News 2

Homophobic slur etched into Murfreesboro man's door

Posted: Updated: March 6, 2013 10:00 PM

A man came home to his Murfreesboro apartment Monday evening to discover a homophobic slur etched into his front door.

John Pennington Jr., who has been openly gay since his early teens, told Nashville's News 2 it's the first time he has experienced something like this in his eight years in Murfreesboro.

He also said that he moved in part to get away from bullying.

"I went through some pretty intense things in my hometown," recalled Pennington. "I've seen it, I've lived it. I had to drop out of high school because of it."

Pennington reported the vandalism to police Tuesday evening. He believes the gay slur was targeted at him.

"It's not like it happened by chance," said Pennington. "It's somebody who knows I'm gay and just decided to be vicious and do a malicious act just trying to get under my skin."

Pennington told Nashville's News 2 he is speaking out to combat his fears.

"That's why people don't talk; because they're afraid," said Pennington. "Would I say I'm a little bit in fear? Of course I would be. Anybody would be, but I can't live my life in fear."

He left a note near the front door to his controlled-access building on North Church Street, appealing to his neighbors to come forward if they know who etched the slur into his door.

The manager of the Carriage House apartments told Nashville's News 2 over the telephone that they plan to have the door reprinted over the weekend.

Pennington said he hopes whoever wrote that word on his door would take his mother's advice.

"The way my mother taught me was to treat anyone the way you want to be treated," he said.

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