A Cross Pointedly Chained To NYC's Gay Street Just Brought These New Yorkers Closer Together

"It was a magical NYC moment.”

When an anonymous stranger decided to chain a large wooden cross to various apartment gates up and down Gay Street in New York City's Greenwich Village over the course of several days, nearby residents clapped back in an awesome (and colorful) way.

Though the exact message the cross was meant to send is unclear, many surmised the owner of the religious symbol was taking an anti-gay stance in a historic neighborhood known for acceptance. The landmark Stonewall Inn is just a short distance away from where the cross was first spotted.

"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," Gay Street resident Micah Latter told POPSUGAR. "It was unsettling that the owner's intentions were not sincere."

When a friend suggested to Latter that she celebrate the cross instead of letting it anger her, she and her neighbors formulated a plan: It was time to redecorate the cross and claim it as a symbol of their own.

Armed with a rainbow's worth of paint colors and champagne, Latter and her neighbors set out to paint the cross, seen above, and were thrilled when others joined in on the fun. "My favorite part of the event were locals sharing the experience with strangers. We had two tourists from Brazil stay for the entire painting; we had kids skateboarding by stop to paint; we had many straight couples, gay couples, and a transgender couple all sit, paint, talk, and stand in the street sharing stories," she told the lifestyle publication. "It was a magical NYC moment."

With hate crimes on the rise in New York City, this symbol of love and acceptance is exactly what the neighborhood, and the city, needs. According to New Now Next, there were 15 anti-gay hate crimes reported in 2016, while 2017 has already seen 17 such offenses.

Instagram

In addition to redecorating the cross, Latter and her cohorts, who now refer to the cross as a Love Cross, ensured the mysterious owner won't be moving it anytime soon. "We added our own lock to the chained cross and superglued both key holes," she wrote on Instagram.

This is just the latest incident that proves New Yorkers are nothing if not incredibly resourceful in the face of intolerance. When a subway car was defaced with dozens of swastikas earlier this year, commuters quickly sprang into action and removed every last anti-Semitic symbol with hand sanitizer.  "Within about two minutes, all the Nazi symbolism was gone," a subway rider proudly wrote.

Stay awesome, NYC! 

Cover image via Shutterstock / Ryan DeBerardinis.

More From A Plus

GET SOME POSITIVITY IN YOUR INBOX

Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.