By Kendra Zaengle
Executive Assistant, Lassen Family Services
By now I’m sure you’ve heard the news that Lassen Family Services’ flags were stolen less than two full days after raising the Progress Pride flag. On top of this, the Susanville Police Department has stated they are not investigating this as a hate crime. There is so much to unpack from this situation.
If we break this crime down and look at the facts, it’s safe to say this is not stemming from a place of love and acceptance. The man intentionally cut down and stole the flags. Due to all flags being attached, he was unable to take just one. The American flag and California State flag flew for months on end without being stolen leading us to safely assume the reason the flags were cut down was due to the LGBTQ+ flag. This prevented LFS from displaying support for the LGBTQ+ community.
This crime is demonstrating there are those in Lassen County that STILL put people into boxes and tell them they’re only accepted if they look, act, and love a certain way. During an outreach event, our advocates had an interaction with someone that disclosed the intention to complete suicide because they came to the realization, they were bi-sexual. This person was worried that they would not be accepted and felt that suicide was the best option.
Let us support one another so that no one feels as though they do not belong. By waving or raising a flag, we are not telling you who to love, we are showing everyone that they are loved, and they are safe to be who they are.
Please consider joining us at our flag re-raising ceremony on Friday, June 17th at 10:00a.m. We will not let this act prevent us from displaying our PRIDE and neither should you! LFS still has free handheld Progress Pride flags available at our office, stop by and get yours while supplies last.
The Rural Pride Network (the local LGBTQ+ nonprofit) is hosting a BBQ on Wednesday, June 22nd from 6:00 to 8:00p.m. at Memorial Park! LFS will be there painting faces and we hope to see you there as well!