Signorile: The Trumpian Assaults on Satisfaction Flags
Anti-LGBTQ haters building resistance in Biden’s America target the rainbow symbol
This article first appeared in Michelangelo Signorile’s Substack newsletter. To view or subscribe to the article in its original location, click here.
I wrote about several harrowing incidents a few weeks ago where rainbow flags symbolizing queer pride were vandalized or incited violence against people, in addition to requests for property removal.
Now this week this story comes from Eastland Cove, a gated community north of gay-friendly Fort Lauderdale in Broward County, Florida. A gay couple, Mike Ferrari and Bob Plominski, have lived there for over 10 years and have hung Pride flags in the past. But this year they received a letter from the Eastland Cove Homeowners Association to remove their flag from their mailbox or to be fined $ 50 and $ 10 extra for every day they refuse to use it remove. They stand firm and have adopted their history nationwide.
A Florida homeowners association ordered a gay couple to remove a small rainbow flag from their front yard or pay a daily $ 50 fine if the flag is not removed by June 15. The couple said they will continue to hoist her until the end of the month. https://t.co/IHAz2eEESi
– NBC News (@NBCNews) June 19, 2021
Of course, homeowners’ associations have a lot of discretion with decorating, including flags, and some are pretty strict. But the key issue here is that Ferrari and Plominki have been hoisting a rainbow flag for years. The association’s rules state that only American flags, state flags, or military flags can be hoisted, but no one has complained in the past. However, one or more people have now filed a complaint and the board says they have been forced to ask the couple to remove the flag.
Why hasn’t anyone cared enough to file a complaint in the past?but now do you have? There could be a number of reasons – including moving in – but I’ll bet when I look at events across the country it’s more of a backlash claim from people encouraged by Donald Trump’s expressions of hatred. This included his government stripping LGBTQ rights and removing rainbow decorations and Pride flags from embassies around the world. Trump’s White House had reversed course from Obama’s White House, not marking Pride month with a proclamation, hoisting a rainbow flag, or lighting the White House in rainbow colors.
But President Joe Biden has rapidly overturned Trump’s dire orders that have harmed LGBTQ people. And now the White House embrace of Pride is back – and flags are waving on embassies around the world, including the Vatican – as the haters now strike in an act of resistance in Biden’s America.
Certainly, since its inception by activist Gilbert Baker in 1978, there have been hateful attacks on Pride flags through some of the most overtly homophobic times this country has seen, including during the escalation of the AIDS crisis. But in 2021, the attacks appear to have escalated in a way that shouldn’t be happening at this time. It’s like we’re going backwards – or there’s a backlash from people who feel very threatened by the current reality where Trump lost the election but believe it was stolen and their rightful place taken. As I wrote a few weeks ago:
The Pride flag was burned in a Sacramento church last yeark. A student in Florida was brutally stamped for bringing a Pride flag to a picnic. Boaters terrorized people in another boat on a lake in Washington state two weeks ago because they hoisted Pride flags on their boat (ironically, only the molesters were harmed, whose boat exploded, ignited by an engine fire during the altercation). Wisconsin homeowners have been directed by their association to Remove pride flags; They got creative and bathed their home in rainbow floodlights.
Since then, a Pride flag has been destroyed in a vintage shop in a Maine city. A church outside of Cleveland reported that their Pride flags had been stolen two dozen times. Proud flags have been stolen from the streets of Boise, Idaho. A teenager at a Washington state university is believed to have burned a Pride flag. One California city even refused to fly the flag at the request of local residents.
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Image from Gallants Photography via Flickr and a CC license
The Post Signorile: The Trumpian Attacks on Pride Flags first appeared in the New Civil Rights Movement.