Vandals Don’t Stop Norman From Mooing

Colorado Springs resident Cyndi Souleret and her 16-year old daughter were traumatized after a vandal shattered the car window displaying a poster of Norman, the dog that moos – the centerpiece of the Born Different campaign that was launched several weeks ago.

As reported in this week’s Colorado Springs Independent:

The unsolved vandalism left D’Manda Souleret in tears, and her mother, Cyndi Souleret, fearful – and angry with a police department that she maintains did little to respond to her concerns that a hate crime had been committed.

Says D’Manda: “We were really frightened. Whoever did this knew where we lived, and they destroyed our property.”

But the incident appears to be a rare display of intolerance in what has otherwise been a successful campaign to highlight that there’s nothing wrong with being gay. The advertising campaign, funded by the Denver-based Gill Foundation, was launched several weeks ago and Norman the mooing dog has popped up on yard signs, billboards and on the airwaves. Campaign spokeswoman Mary Lou Makepeace says Norman has received an outpouring of positive feedback.

“I’m very happy – happy at the breadth of the conversation that is happening in Colorado Springs,” says Makepeace, a former mayor and longtime city councilmember. “That was the main goal, to get people talking.”

Letters to the editor have appeared in the daily Gazette including one from a mother who reports she has three sons that bark, and two that moo. Makepeace has heard about a woman with a dog-that-moos yard sign who, upon seeing another yard sign several houses down, knocked on the door to introduce herself to her previously-unknown neighbors.

The campaign was featured this week in a long segment on NPR’s nationally syndicated This Way Out. Several locals who were randomly interviewed on the streets of downtown expressed support for the campaign, and its message, pointing out that, well, the dog is just so dang cute. And, they all said, one of the points of the campaign – that asking gay people to “change” their sexual orientation is absurd – is right on.

Some yard signs have been stolen, and a few have been defaced, with the “Moo” changed to “Woof.” Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family, which maintains that people can “change” their sexual orientation, has responded to the Norman campaign with its own version – Sherman, a dog that barks.