Ryan Gierach, the well-known and controversial former publisher of WeHo News, is also an out gay man who served in the United States Air Force from 1979 until he was discharged for being gay.
He’s used to dealing with discrimination and on many levels.
But, Gierach says, since moving to San Pedro two years ago his neighbors have repeatedly taunted him with anti-gay slurs and since April things have gotten worse.
After hanging a Rainbow flag the jeers escalated and became violent with some residents (his cross street neighbors) spitting on him and posting flyers that accused him of being ‘a child molesting sex offender’ and including his home address.
Gierach captured some taunting on video that went viral and the police were eventually called.
“It has left me with more bad days than not,” Gierach told KABC 7. “The hatred, the harassment; they had their children calling me ‘faggot’.”
His neighbors were even captured on video throwing garbage at him.
“All I wonder about is why they are harassing me,” Gierach says. “All I have ever asked them is ‘why teach your children hate?'”
Dozens of residents and city leaders gathered Saturday June 16 for a Rainbow flag raising ceremony as a show of support for Gierach.
LA City Councilman Joe Buscaino told KABC 7 that San Pedro is a diverse city. “Ignorance breeds intolerance,” he said.
“I hope they have a come to Jesus moment,” said Gierach.”Living in peace is what being a neighbor is all about.”
Yet Gierach reports the hatred has not stopped and that he is now being targeted with even more harassment online.
Police have opened an investigation and a spokesman for the Harbor Community Police Department, division of the LAPD, told the Los Angeles Blade they have interviewed the neighbors involved but no arrests have yet been made.