Body Shop, Local Businesses Pitch In To Repair Car Marred By Homophobic Slurs

A gay college student in Virginia says that his car has been the target of four separate attacks of vandalism in just the last few months, as some people find it hilarious to use their keys to etch homophobic slurs — and randomly, the word “dye,” which we assume is either a spelling error or some kind of meta-comment on the prominence of gay men in the fashion and hairstyling worlds — into his vehicle. Unable to pay for the repairs, a local body shop in Roanoke and other businesses pitched in to fix the car up.

“The lowest estimate I got just to fix the damage to the doors was like $2,500 and for a college student that’s a lot of money,” the student tells WDBJ-TV.

The manager of Roanoke’s Quality Auto Paint and Body says that he heard about the young man’s car, “I said that’s uncalled for we’re gonna fix your car that’s the least we can do.”

With the help of several other local businesses — Parts Unlimited in Vinton, Advance Auto Parts, Moon’s Auto Body, Rice Toyota, Val’s Automotive, The Rod Shop, B&C Exterminating, Twists & Turns, AJ’s Landscaping, and Sunnybrook Auto Spa — the body shop not only provided the student with a new paint job for his car, but new tires, tinted windows, a new security system, and a new stereo.

“It looks great,” says the student about his Volkswagen. “It hasn’t looked that great the entire time I’ve had it.”

“We can’t afford to do this ourselves,” the body shop manager explains of the approximately $10,000 worth of repairs and upgrades. “We might have all the good intentions in the world but I can’t finance something like this ourselves.”


Edit Your Comment

  1. GreatWhiteNorth says:

    All is not lost in America today. Thanks to all that came forward to help this lad.

    • AtlantaCPA says:

      But is that cancelled out by the actions that made it necessary to begin with? I hope the net is still that there is more good.

    • PadThai says:

      Indeed. This was a touching and generous thing for these people to do. Almost made me cry.

    • MeowMaximus says:

      Three Cheers for Roanoke’s Quality Auto Paint and Body, Parts Unlimited in Vinton, Advance Auto Parts, Moon’s Auto Body, Rice Toyota, Val’s Automotive, The Rod Shop, B&C Exterminating, Twists & Turns, AJ’s Landscaping, and Sunnybrook Auto Spa !

  2. hobochangbar says:

    “Yo Dawg! I hear ya don’t like slurs in your paint job
    So we buffed that out for ya.”

  3. Zelgadis says:

    When I was a kid, any sort of bullying that occurred would simply prompt people to look the other way.

    Recently, more and more, I can see that see that this is less true. High fives all around to all the businesses which helped out.

  4. Worstdaysinceyesterday says:

    Wow, that is really impressive! They did not have to do all the upgrades and extra repairs to do a good deed. But they went above and beyond. Makes me wish I had a broke car in VA to give them some business. I will be networking to my colleagues out that way to promote all the businesses.

  5. who? says:

    B&C Exterminating and AJ’s Landscaping? What did those a-holes do to the kid’s car that it needed landscapers and exterminators?

    Regardless, good for the businesses involved. It’s nice to see someone take a stand against sh*t like this.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      They probably helped finance the repairs. The body shop owner’s comment seems out of place until you think that maybe since they couldn’t actually write off the $10,000 of work, other local businesses pitched in with some money to offset the cost.

    • Golfer Bob says:

      From what I’ve been told, some of the support was in the form of financial donations to help defray the costs for the repairs / upgrades.

  6. do-it-myself says:

    Wow! Great job to all those businesses! He better take great care of that car with its $10,000 in upgrades! (I would have loved to take it as cash and trade the car in for something else seeing as this is about a 1998 Passat)

  7. frank64 says:

    That is great. It sends a message to the bullies too, kind of takes the wind out of their sails, I am sure.

  8. jimigsu says:

    I am not “pro homosexuality” but I am pro humans. I live in the deep south and if that happened to ANY of our gay friends I know that several of our local good ole boys would jump in my pickup truck and beat the crap out of somebody. What those morons did was uncalled for and so far beyond anything that could even be construed as “light hearted ribbing” that they should go CSI on them and put them in prison so they could experience life as someone that is gay. I really hate people that are mean for no reason, unless its to cats, those mothers are evil.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I’m having a hard time wondering how it’s okay to assault anyone just because they were horrible to your friend. I mean, it’s indefensible that they would be horrible to other people, but violence as retaliation always seemed like a terrible tactic. And I think it’s bizarre to be “pro human” and suggest that someone be put in prison to “experience life as someone that is gay” …and yes, I know what you’re really suggesting. As I get older, the more I see that being “pro human” is encouraging activism through discourse and logic, not sabre ratting or violence.

      • JollySith says:

        OK, I am pro-gay and anti-human. In fact the reason I am pro-gay is that they don’t reproduce, which means less people. So I will go ahead and take the burden of beating these biggoted douchebag into paste and then dragging them behind his new tricked out car. No prison though, I don’t want to pay for their care.

  9. PragmaticGuy says:

    Obviously the “Trick My Truck” crew does cars as well. Hope this poor guy doesn’t have to endure any more of this. I guess the only way some people feel good about themselves is by making others miserable. Hell, I should know that, that’s why I have an EX-wife.

  10. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    Next week’s headline: 27 students find slurs on their beater cars…

  11. Bob A Dobalina says:

    Note to self: when you need a paint job, declare yourself gay and scratch slurs into your own car

  12. Golfer Bob says:

    This is my town, my tip and I know several of these folks and have done business with the owner of this shop. They are great people. Here are the other local Roanoke Valley businesses who contributed to this:

    Parts Unlimited in Vinton, Advance Auto Parts, Moon’s Auto Body, Rice Toyota, Val’s Automotive in Vinton, The Rod Shop, B&C Exterminating, Twists & Turns, AJ’s Landscaping, and Sunnybrook Auto Spa were the other Roanoke Valley businesses that contributed to this effort.

  13. BurtReynolds says:

    Glad to hear it. I guess I don’t have to be completely embarrassed to have a Virginia mailing address now.

    I also have to laugh at the fact the piece of trash bigot wrote “dye”.

    • George4478 says:

      So prior to this happening you were completely embarrassed to have a Virginia address?

      • VintageLydia says:

        The progressives that live here in VA are often embarrassed by the bigotry and politics found in much of the state (the crap that made the awesome business owners’ actions necessary to begin with for example.) It’s beautiful here, the history is rich and deep, and the weather isn’t terrible at all so I’d be loath to move away but… we have some problems.

        • BurtReynolds says:

          Two words: Ken Cuccinelli

          Someone like Ken is probably disappointed these businesses stepped up to help this guy. Bob McDonnell had national ambitions, so he has kept the rhetoric down, but still is a graduate of Regent “University”.

        • Mary says:

          I have very rarely read other people say so perfectly how I feel about my home state.

          I love Virginia, I’ve lived here my entire life (most of it spent in the general vicinity of this story, that last seven years or so in the most liberal part of Northern Virginia I could find). I don’t want to move, my life is here, my family is here. The state is beautiful and I’ve met some of the best people in the world.

          But the next dumbass high school kid I see that makes an “Adam and Steve” joke is going to get a slap upside the head. UGH.

          And other comment about Ken Cuccinelli…*sigh* That man is a laughingstock to the entire rest of the country every time he opens his mouth.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          I’ve lived in Virginia for a long time and I’ve never been embarassed by it, but that was because I lived in Northern VA. I love my state, but it seems that even though Northern VA drives the state economically, it just can’t make a dent in the politics driven by the rest of the state. We’re simply outnumbered.

  14. iesika says:

    I’m so glad we’re at a point in this country today where it’s good press for a local business to come out in favor of a bullied gay student. The happiness that gives me more than makes up for the four stupid vandals.

    On a semi-related note, I watched Fagbug not long ago. It’s a documentary a young woman made after her car was vandalized with homophobic slurs – and she decided to drive the car across the country that way.

  15. prosumer1 says:

    Glad to see a good story like this between all the murders, thefts, and politicians saying and doing stupid things.

    Now it would be great if they can find the vandals and make them re-imburse the shops that pitched in to fix the car.

  16. spartan says:

    When I think of car guys, I normally don’t expect such enlightened behavior.

    And when I think of rural Appalachia I don’t think of enlightened behavior either.

    I guess it is time for me to re-examine my own stereotypes.

    • Kestris says:

      Uh, Roanoke is NOT rural Appalachia. Time for you to also re-examine a map.

      • spartan says:

        My map shows it is 121 miles to Charlottesville, and to get there you pass through Lynchburg, the capitol of the Jerry Falwell theocracy.

        On the other hand, the elevation is only 1135 feet.

        So I stand by the rural comment, and amend the “Appalachia” comment to read “foothills of Appalachia”.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          Lynchburg has nearly 70,000 people, though so it’s also not rural.

        • Kestris says:

          93,000+ residents does not make it rural.

          You want rural? Go past Wytheville. THEN you’re in rural Virginia. And we’re not really the ‘foothills of Appalachia’ here either. We’re in the Blue Ridge Mountains, a part of the Appalachian Mountain Chain, but NOT the foothills.

          No, you do not need to pass through Lynchburg to get to Charlottesville. Unless you go by way of 29 instead of 81 to 64. Though WHY you would go that route, is beyond me.

          You need a new map.

        • Kestris says:

          And by the way, Peaks of Otter is at 4,001 and 3,875 ft . So, no, definitely not foothills.

          Roanoke Mountain? Elevation of 2,172 feet . Mill Mountain? 1703 feet. Nope, not foothills.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Roanoke is near Charlottesville, where the University of VA is. Roanoke is NOT that rural.

      • Kestris says:

        We have Roanoke College, Hollins University and Radford is 30 minutes away, Virginia Tech is 35-40 minutes away, but we’re considered ‘rural’.

        *insert eyerolls here*

  17. Ashman says:

    All I can say is that is simply awesome that all those business stepped up like that. They would have my business if I lived in their area for sure.

    Good on them!

  18. Abradax says:

    If that happened to me, i’d just dye.

  19. Kestris says:

    Sometimes, my town makes me very proud to live here.

  20. oldwiz65 says:

    And of course the local cops aren’t really interested in looking into the matter.

    Wonder which local “christian” church has been screaming the most anti-gay bigotry? Bet it was one of their members doing the scratching.

    • frank64 says:

      Maybe none, when kids get together they don’t need church to do mean things. Being different in anyway is enough, especially being gay. Most religions actually preach tolerance, even if they don’t agree with some actions.

      Most religions don’t go out of their way to hate gays, I was Catholic growing up and there was no hate preached, I am sure it hasn’t changed. You seem as much bigoted towards religion as you are accusing this imaginary church to be against gays.

      • BorkBorkBork says:

        +1 Good post frank64

      • JollySith says:

        Correction, most religious texts preach tolerance, most religious practices teach hate and bigotry. It is just how it is. Of course that is because right after the texts tell you to love and respect everyone they go ahead and tell you that anyone who is different from you and doesn’t believe the same things you do will go to hell.

        • frank64 says:

          I tell you I have only been taught tolerance, I know people of other religions and they have only been taught tolerance. There are a minority of religions that don’t, but lumping all religions into that is being bigoted in itself, which seems to be OK now a days.

    • Mary says:

      The kids are getting this stuff from each other in high school at the moment. Though their parents reinforce it, and some churches doing the whole “hate the sin love the sinner” BS that they do.

      But for the most part it’s just the latest thing for groups of kids to peer pressure each other into homophobia. It’s a thing, if you don’t interact with a lot of high schoolers it’s probably hard to pinpoint.

      And yes, I know this was probably done by college kids, but freshmen aren’t all that far removed from high school. If I was actually investigating this, I’d look to the freshman and sophomores first, personally.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Re the cops: if they can’t prove who did it, there’s not much incentive to investigate it. My (old) car got broken into; there wasn’t even anyone dispatched. All they did was take a report over the phone. Nothing anyone could do. I was lucky–only lost some copies of CDs. I never leave the actual ones in the car.

  21. Knyte says:

    Damn, now Chic-Fil-A are going around and messing with people’s cars?

  22. LuvChikFilA says:

    That Body shop guy looks like he has seen a few tail pipes himself. Ya know what I mean!?

    • Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

      No. Maybe you should explain what that means.

      And then maybe you should leave.

      • LuvChikFilA says:

        Mean he likes a tail pipe in his trunk

        And no thanks. I will stay:)

        • Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

          Oh, I see. You’re a bigoted, self-loathing little fuckstick who thinks the things he said to his fellow 7th graders on the playground are still funny. How’s that closet treating you?

          By all means, stick around. Comic relief is always welcome.

  23. kataisa says:

    Hmm. So, the next time I need my car repaired for free I’ll just scratch “dye” into the side and cry homophobic victim to the media. Brilliant plan.

  24. rgf207 says:

    Advance Auto Parts is the only store that is also in my area. They will be getting my business from now on. Way to go. I’m glad to see there are still good people in this world