Earlier this month, outside the Minot City Hall in North Dakota, a group called Magic City Equality put up a rainbow flag to mark the start of the Minot Pride Festival.
It’s one of those symbolic gestures that groups can always apply for, but this one struck a nerve to some in the community. North Dakota, after all, is a place where the state’s Republican Party recently passed a platform that included wildly untrue and damaging stereotypes about LGBTQ people. Among other things, they said LGBTQ people were “recruiting for their lifestyles” and their practices were “unhealthy and dangerous.”
During a city council meeting on Friday, a handful of citizens whined about seeing that flag, as if it was some kind of imposition upon their Christian values. Some even read Bible verses in opposition to the gesture of equality and inclusion.
But then Councilwoman Carrie Evans spoke up. The first openly lesbian elected official in the state informed the critics that she didn’t give a damn about their bigotry.
… I am proudly the first openly elected lesbian in North Dakota. So that is why I’m not paying any heed to your crap. I am — we the people — I’m the people, I live in Minot. I have [sic] a taxpayer. I am a person. I get to see myself represented on that flagpole. Just as much as the people who got the Juneteenth flag last month. As much as the POW MIAs will get later this month.
Every single person is entitled to see themselves represented. We are not some group of people who live in San Francisco or Seattle. We are here. We are your elected officials. We are your brothers. We are your sisters. And don’t tell me you’re not hatred and anger, that’s all I feel. I’ve had to listen to it for days now, as has the mayor and many of my colleagues. It is unacceptable. This city is big enough for all of us. Me having a flag flying doesn’t take away anything from your rights and freedoms.
But you know what it does for me? It shows me I live in a city that appreciates and embraces me and the people of my community and that I can live here and feel safe. That’s what it does. I’m sorry it doesn’t make you feel comfortable, but we’re here, we’re queer, and we’re not going away!
Can you give a standing ovation over livestream…?
The Christian behind the podium — a resident — immediately responded to Evans’ statement with a pithy, “Thank you for exposing yourself and your anger.” She stood up for herself and other historically oppressed LGBTQ people… and this idiot reacted like she had given away the game somehow.
I don’t get to say this often, but at least they’re both in the right roles. She’s the elected official; he’s the conservative Christian complaining from the sidelines. Our country would be a better place if we saw that more often; far too many times, those positions are reversed.
(via Daily Kos. Thanks to Bob for the link)