What's with people named Gary Glenn?

By Berl Schwartz

Gary Glenn the Lansing sign painter is sounding like Gary Glenn the well-known homophobe who runs the American Family Association-Michigan.

Here’s what Gary Glenn the sign painter posted on City Pulse’s Facebook page on Thursday:

“Do you realize 5 years ago when I painted ‘Welcome to Old Town’ wall mural , City Pulse OFFICES were right across the street and NEVER have pictured my mural in that rag paper???!!!! NEVER, not once!! WHY? because I would not take out a display ad in a GAY newspaper....I don’t condone the gay crowd, hell, half the artists are gay.....I just don’t need that label on Artrageous Studios...tell me I´m wrong on this issue, City Pulse.”

Glenn is referring to the Old Town mural on a wall overlooking Cesar Chavez Plaza (aka Lot 56), where many festivals occur — including the annual statewide Gay Pride celebration. And ironically on the side of a building owned by gay businessman Tom Donnell.

Glenn popped off on Facebook in response to our coverage of the young man accused of defacing the Capitol and the war memorial.

About that young man, Glenn wrote on his own page: “maybe the county jail guys will shave that stupid friggin´ gay hairdo off......we can only hope.”

I admired Glenn’s mural — until now, when I saw his posting and discovered he’s a bigot. A bigot whose mural is on full display in a place where all of Lansing in its full diversity comes together for Sun and Moon festivals, JazzFest, BluesFest, Cesar Chavez Festival and others.

It’s one thing to get an occasional piece of hate mail, like the one that showed up a few days ago with the City Pulse banner on our cover torn off and the words written on it: “*rest of us (rest uv us) uberchic elitists from the GLBT and medical marijuana communities,” referring to our motto “a newspaper for the rest of us.” The latest “Savage Love” column was ripped up and stuffed into the envelope as well.

It’s another thing to have to look at a hater’s art in a public place. Should we have to?

The mural, which is signed by Glenn, says under it, “Thanks … Capital Region Community Foundation.”

I’m confident the foundation had no idea of Glenn’s views. Perhaps the foundation and the Old Town Commercial Association would reconsider whether the location of the mural is appropriate, given the views of the artist.

Oh, and Mr. Glenn: Congratulations: Your mural finally made City Pulse.