I’ve been struggling whether to share this story since last week. I have gone through several emotions, from shock to sadness to disbelief to anger. I’m not part of the LGBTQIA+ community; I’m an ally, just like Lauri Carleton was, and just like her, I am very vocal about my support because I believe it’s my moral responsibility to accept, defend, and support everyone who needs it.
The Pride flag is not a symbol of hate nor shame nor debate. It’s a symbol of love, of acceptance, of inclusion, of belonging.
As the author of this opinion piece Allison Hope said so eloquently:
“The Pride flag is not merely a frivolous adornment; it is a concrete and powerful marker that we don’t bow down to bullies; that we are principled and have integrity and are willing to stand up for what’s right and just. It’s a symbol of hope and promise that all are welcome here, even if we still aren’t welcome everywhere.”Allison Hope
I have a Pride flag in my cubicle. It’s a hand fan that my son found at Walgreens and gave to me with such pride and happiness in his eyes that I was overwhelmed, so how could I not show it off? However, I know that some of my coworkers don’t feel the same way about it and about the LGBTQIA+ community. I have thought about taking it down out of respect for my coworkers, but then I checked my privilege. Some people don’t have the luxury of taking off their queerness and hiding it in a drawer. Some people can’t go back to the closet because since coming out, their fabulousness has grown wings and now they can’t fit in the door. (My attempt at humor, please don’t judge. ☺)
This is me. I may not be gay, but I come with a Pride flag. And a mom hug. And an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, a hand to lift you up.
Sometimes a flag is just a flag, but apparently to Lauri’s killer, it meant much more, and you know what? It does. I just hope my flag can stay up and maybe open some hearts. ❤