A gay couple from Milton, Massachusetts, who was harassed via hate-filled messages for years by an anonymous person, were able to unravel the culprit after they recognized the handwriting of their abuser.
LeeMichael McLean and Bryan Furze were terrified when they began receiving anonymous hate. The couple had a newborn son and were getting involved in local government.
But with the help of someone in the community, they were able to uncover the unexpected aggressor.
You can see local news coverage here:
The timeline of events was shared on Twitter by Chris Evans, an online civil rights and LGBTQ+ activist.
The couple, after receiving a match from their neighborhood helper via voter signatures, realized the culprit was their neighbor from two doors down. Theh often "had shared hellos, waves, and casual conversation" with the couple.
The harassment came in the form of magazine subscriptions with extremely homophobic names on them, such as "Michelle Fruitzey."
The couple received several messages of support on social media. They started the hashtag "iammichellefruitzey" to gain attention for a cause close to their hearts—fundraising the Gender and Sexuality Alliance in Milton public schools.
"For us, this is not really about broadcasting the bad. It's about embracing the good and finding ways to blow it up into something bigger," said Bryan Furze.
The harasser told police the motivation for the homophobic attacks was "outspokenness and [the couple's] opinions about Milton's politics and Milton's future," to which Furzy said:
"I have some doubts about that."
The community's reaction was so positive McLean said It "has helped us get through the realization that we had been affected by this so negatively."
The harassment has ceased and hopefully will forever.