Ever since Good Friday (April 14), someone has been chaining a large, wooden cross to fence posts along Gay Street in Manhattan, Distractify reports, moving the cross to a different spot along the street every few days.
At first, people weren't sure what to make of the cross, but on Sunday the community fought back.
"As a Christian, the cross is a sign of love, peace, and hope and it was clear the mysterious owner of the cross was not sharing those same values," Micah Latter, who lives on Gay Street, told PopSugar. "It was unsettling that the owner's intentions were not sincere."
So Latter texted others who live on the street with a plan: they were going to paint the cross into a rainbow.
"I'll bring paint and Champagne for anyone that can make it," Latter reportedly texted.
But it wasn't just her neighbors who showed up. “For two hours on a Sunday, it was just random strangers, tourists, straight couples, gay couples, kids and neighbors spreading love, painting rainbows on a cross, getting to know our neighbors, and drinking champagne on Gay St," Latter told Huffington Post.
After the cross was painted and officially dubbed "the love cross," Latter and her neighbors added their own lock, and superglued the holes in the original lock so it couldn't be moved again.
"The Love Cross belongs to the street now, so thank you!" Latter told HuffPost in a message to whoever left the cross on the street.
Since no one knows who the original owner of the cross is, we can't be exactly sure what the intention was — but we'll take a wild guess and say that it was probably hateful. A cross repeatedly chained to Gay Street, starting on Good Friday — the day on which Christians believe Jesus died for our sins — means that this cross was probably meant to say that gay people are sinners.
This viewpoint isn't unfamiliar to LGBTQ people. It comes in many forms, from the pastor who preaches that "homosexuality is a sin" at your local church to the well-meaning family members who claim to "love the sinner, hate the sin." But a giant cross chained to Gay Street is certainly one of the most convoluted ways we've seen anyone attempt to spread this message.
Thanks to the creativity of the residents of Gay Street, and those who stopped to help them last Sunday, that hateful message has become one of love and support.
Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?