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All non-binary, female Denver tattoo shop target of vandalism, owner says

The Wolf Den
Posted at 4:49 PM, Oct 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-17 19:28:12-04

DENVER — Step inside The Wolf Den Custom Studio on East Colfax in Denver, and you'll see why it's worthy of attention.

"We love everybody. We just happen to have a staff of amazing women or identifying women," owner Ryane Urie said Sunday.

The tattoo shop got praise from The Denver Post this week because of its inclusivity and for creating a safe space for LGBTQ people.

"A lot of light has been shown on us, a lot of people wanting to support us," Urie, who uses they/them pronouns, said.

But some of that light has cast a shadow.

"We've had some pretty hateful comments coming towards us just because our model is a little different from the standard tattoo shop, and I can understand maybe that's a little scary," Urie said.

They think that online hate spilled into the real world after someone threw a rock through a front window early Friday morning, as captured by one of the shop's surveillance cameras.

"It didn't seem like anyone was trying to break in, thankfully. It seemed like they were trying to absolutely send a message,"Urie said.

They admit they have no proof this was an intentional act. It could've been someone random walking by.

"Unless you have someone caught red-handed, you can't really go further," Urie said.

But it's how the vandal broke the glass that makes them think otherwise. The rock used in the incident was small.

"I was incredibly surprised because it takes a lot of force to break a window. And so for something so small ... took a lot of power behind it," Urie said.

A spokesperson with the Denver Police Department said Friday its bias-motivated unit was not investigating this crime, but that could change in the future.

Still, Urie is not letting this get in the way of their work. A wooden plank that's temporarily in place of the broken window says it all.

"We all signed it," Urie said. "We left a message saying, 'You can break our windows, but you can't break our stride.'"

If you have any information about this crime, contact Denver Police.