The on-street newspaper boxes containing Our Lives Magazine have been vandalized, and the editor of the independent news outlet covering Madison’s LGBTQ and allied community says the publication receives angry letters.
But Friday morning, Emily Mills and publisher Patrick Farabaugh returned to their office to find that the glass door had been smashed. A rock was found inside the office, and it appeared to have been thrown through the magazine's logo on the door, Farabaugh said.
“That is a bit more unnerving and just challenges my ability to feel safe,” Farabaugh said. “This one has me really shook up.”
Farabaugh said nothing appeared to have been stolen from the office, which is located in a building with several other businesses. The magazine office’s front door opens into a hallway and does not face the street.
“We were the only office that was attacked,” Mills said. “(The perpetrator) had to seek us out and go downstairs and go down the hallway and find our door.”
Because of targeted negative behavior toward the publication, Farabaugh said the address of the office is not on the magazine’s website. It had been used on the publication’s Facebook page, but he said that would be changing.
Farabaugh is also looking to increase safety at the office with security cameras.
“One of the areas where we’re extra vulnerable is we’re the easiest to target anonymously,” Farabaugh said. “Because we are a media company, we’re really exposed to the general public a lot more.”
Mills and Farabaugh reported an uptick in targeted actions against the bi-monthly magazine since the election of President Donald Trump.
For example, Farabaugh found a copy of the magazine in a distribution box covered in alt-right language. In addition to vandalism, distribution boxes have been moved. Last fall, the office’s door had been covered in materials promoting the president.
“The biggest challenge is there’s this illusion we’re in this progressive bubble,” Farabaugh said. “I think marginalized communities are often really the ones who are out on the front lines and probably experiencing the brunt of this.”
Mills added, “The most important thing is we know there are more people than not that support what we do and are positive allies and members of the LGBTQ community.”