[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written and submitted by a verified resident. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions of South King Media, nor its staff:]
The scene in downtown Burien this week: broken flagpoles, torn, cut, and ripped Pride Flags, and a community angry, but more proud than ever.
The rainbow flags hung around our city represent the pride that the LGBTQ+ community feels for ourselves and each other, as well as solidarity from the whole of our Burien community and government.
That some hateful individuals feel the need to attempt destroying these symbols is a comment towards how powerful and united they see us. Scared by the joy, unity, and remarkable allyship that Queer people find in Burien, they will attempt to make us believe that this is not a home for us. These little dogs yapping and pulling at their leashes don’t phase a community who has marched through tear gas and hellfire to be able today to stand tall as the very same flag is raised above City Hall.
Let us not take this violence quietly. Let this remind us that the first Pride was borne from our reaction to violence against our community. We stand up for each other, we protect each other, and we are loved and accepted by the vast majority of the people around us.
As we see rising violence against queer people and symbols around our country, we also see rising demonstrations of solidarity with and within the queer community. Throughout June, celebrated across the nation as LGBTQ+ Pride month, flags have been stolen, damaged, and defaced. They have also been flown higher. Flown by more allies. Flown in cities holding their very first pride celebrations and cities that have been celebrating for decades.
Our theme for this year’s pride festival could not be more apt – as One Burien, we are stronger together. While we cannot take this violence lightly, we also cannot dwell on the actions of a small few who will never overtake the power of a united Burien, queer and straight alike, raising our flag again and again.
The Burien Pride Planning Committee
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