Yesterday, I was grateful to be in attendance at the second official flag-raising ceremony for Brantford’s Pride celebration.

Michael Dow, Bridge/Brantford Pride Committee member, said “Last year was the first time for the flag-raising… next year we hope everyone who has and can afford a flagpole raises the flag.”

I was feeling particularly smug at that point (refer to photo below).

pride-flag-raising-ceremony

I, finding a rainbow flag several months prior, was able to show my support for Pride without needing a flag pole.

 

Saturday morning I was catching up with my neighbour, for whom I have a great fondness and respect, when she mentioned that she wasn’t crazy about the flag being there.

I was a little taken aback, but she proceeded to tell me why.

First and foremost, she felt there was a good chance our property would be vandalized.

While this in my opinion was a valid concern, it was also all the more reason to display the flag prominently.

As a small business owner in Brantford, I’ve gained a strong sense of community. And my community involves everyone. I’ve experienced first hand the positive effect that seeing the flag in my store has had on folks who noticed it.

For me, it’s not about tolerance, but acceptance and respect.

So while I don’t have a flag pole, I’ve got something infinitely better. A beautiful neighbour with an open mind who will support the rainbow flag on our shared front door, not because she necessarily likes it, but because she knows it matters that it’s there.

 

Happy Pride everyone.

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