The vandalism outside Jenni’s Noodle House last week did not diminish the owners’ support for the LGBT community in Houston and beyond.
It did, however, force them to remove the mural illustrating that support.
Co-owner Scott Tranweaver said the rainbow-colored Pride Wall painted outside the restaurant franchise’s Heights location at 602 E 20th St. was vandalized on the morning of Friday, Nov. 23. At the request of the landlord, Tranweaver said Tuesday that the wall would be painted white on Wednesday.
“We don’t want to take it down,” he said. “The out-of-town building owner thinks the building will be a future target for vandalism, and he’s right. It’s already happened, and what’s next?”
Houston Police Department spokesman Victor Senties said Tuesday that the vandal has not been identified and the investigation remains active. It’s being handled by the department’s criminal mischief division as well as its criminal intelligence division to determine if it was a hate crime.
The mural was painted in the spring after Houston’s previous Pride Wall, at Select Skate Shop in Montrose, was vandalized early this year. The one outside Jenni’s Noodle House says “BeVisible” at the top of the wall, with an inscription attributed to LGBT rights advocate Jim Obergefell.
“I march because of the people who marched before me,” the inscription reads. “I live in a better world due to their bravery. And I owe it to them to continue the fight for equality.”
A large black “X” was spray-painted on the mural Friday along with smaller cross-out symbols and the words, “Stop your gay agenda please.” Tranweaver said other nearby businesses were vandalized in a similar manner the same day.
In a Monday morning Facebook post by Jenni’s Noodle House, the restaurant said all money collected for the repainting of the wall would be donated to Pride Portraits, the nonprofit that created the mural.
Tranweaver encouraged others in the community to replace the mural he was instructed to remove.
“It served its purpose, it was great and we encourage any business owner or any property owner to support the LGBT community,” he said. “We’ll continue to support them. If someone wants to donate wall space somewhere, we’d be happy to sponsor the paint or help coordinate.”