BRUNSWICK — Councilor Kathy Wilson said she received homophobic emails and letters in the wake of reporting a flyer left on her car after a memorial service for 9/11 last month.

Wilson, 72, has been openly gay for decades and said most of the emails were either anonymous or from other states. One letter, sent to her former address on Cushing Street, was from a man in Idaho who encouraged her to read his book condemning homosexuality.

Wilson’s troubles began after she reported flyers left on her car that depicted a rainbow flag and a Soviet hammer and sickle, with an equal sign between them. The cryptic note also included the moniker “The Forest Brothers” underneath a strange symbol.

Other flyers with similar messages were also distributed in other areas of Brunswick, most notably the Cook’s Corner Burger King on Sept. 6.

Wilson said she reported the flyers because, while she wasn’t terribly upset, some people may have been frightened by them.

“Although I wasn’t afraid or going to go into hiding because of it, I have gay friends who, had they received such a thing, may not have felt really comfortable to go to another public event in town,” said Wilson.


Police caught the man responsible for the flyers on Sept. 15. While police advised him not to have contact with Wilson, she agreed to meet him and listen to his apology.

The man said he never intended to spread a hateful message, only one expressing his “conservative views,” Wilson said.

“He apologized, said he never meant to scare anybody or threaten everybody. I believe him when he said he didn’t mean to scare anybody.”

She explained to the man that she’s received hate mail and other messages, something he was “blown away by.”

“It gave other people permission to express their hate, because it sounded like hate,” said Wilson.

She agreed to keep his identity a secret, and stated that he has every right to hold conservative views, but should be aware of how things could be interpreted in the future.


Wilson brought the letter the man wrote to the police, and asked them not to pursue the matter further. “Basically it’s done, other than the lessons that come out of it.”

Another one of those lessons was the outpouring of support Wilson got from residents in town.

“I received a tremendous amount of support, either emails or a couple of cards in the mail or people stopping me places or coming up to me and saying how terrible they thought it was. I think it has brought about an awareness in this particular area that I think the good people overwhelm the bad.”



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