‘I’m sure your heart is filled with a lot of hate’: Madison resident uses transphobic stickers found at Tenney Park as educational opportunity

MADISON, Wis. — The City of Madison Parks Department expressed its frustration and disappointment with recent hate speech stickers found at Tenney Park.

The City was made aware of the stickers after Madison resident Tori Vancil alerted his alder, Patrick Heck, that he has removed around 30 stickers from light posts, bike racks and bridge railings since Christmas.

Vancil said many of the stickers represent TERF propaganda.

“It’s trans exclusionary radical feminism,” Vancil said. “Their feminism doesn’t include trans women. It’s filled with hate and they don’t believe trans people exist.”

Vancil said he walks through the park daily, and one day, “I just saw one and then I saw another, and another, and another. So I started tearing them down and the more I tore them down, the more they showed up.”

Heck said when Vancil told him about the stickers, he was extremely disappointed.

“It’s a tremendous insult to our trans neighbors and friends,” Heck said.

“When you live somewhere and you walk around in the streets and you don’t see anything supporting you, you only see things that are against you, it’s invalidating, it’s harmful and it’s dangerous,” Vancil said.

While most people may walk past and ignore the stickers, Vancil wanted to use them as an educational opportunity.

“We’re tired. We’re so tired. We need cis people, we need non-transgender people to support us,” Vancil said. “I will continue to stand up for trans people. I will continue to fight and use my voice and use my privilege.”

Vancil shared a message to whoever is responsible for putting up the stickers: “I feel really sorry for you. I’m sure your heart is filled with a lot of hate. It’s not a pleasant way to live.”

Heck said the stickers are considered vandalism and if any resident sees the person responsible, report it to him, the Madison Parks Department or Madison Area Crime Stoppers.