Neighbors Raise Rainbow Flags In Support Of Lesbians Who Were Robbed

A lesbian couple living in Illinois was touched by the support of their neighbors after becoming victims of theft.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Barrington residents Casey Handel and Zadette Rosado were one day shocked to find the rainbow flag hanging outside their home replaced with an American one.

Not knowing her neighbors too well, Handel used the Nextdoor social media site to ask if anyone had seen who stole the flag. It seems no one knew what had happened, but many were concerned by the situation. This is especially true for neighbor Kimberly Filian.

“I’m so sick of all this hate,” she told the Chicago Tribune. “I just feel inundated in the media and everywhere I look, all those terrible stories. It’s overwhelming sometimes. I felt like it was one thing I could do to show support—just something little.”

Filian decided to place a small rainbow flag on her front lawn as a show of support for Handel and Rosado. Afterwards, other members of the community started asking Filian where she got the flag. She then decide to order four dozen small rainbow flags and passed them out across the neighborhood.

Not only did the neighborhood suddenly get decorated with rainbow flags, but several neighbors started giving small gifts to the family. They plan to continue giving gifts until New Year’s Eve, the day when Handal and Rosado plan to get married.

h/t: Chicago Tribune

Is Wrestling the New Gay Sport?

Out pro-wrestler Mike Parrow walked into his most recent four-way championship for National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) Wrestling with a rainbow flag draped over him according to Outsports. The bout was a championship commemorating the 70th anniversary of the NWA. Parrow, unfortunately, did not take home the win, but asserts walking out with pride was victory enough.

Parrow, who came out last year, has been very open about his relationship with fiancé, Morgan Cole. Earlier this year we interviewed Parrow and he shared:

I started to come out about 4 and a half years ago lately my coworkers have wanted me to share my story because I said I had no gay role models growing up, and I felt alone, so they encouraged me to share with the world.

I've had many athletes from different sports reach out to me and express their support, but I have not received any backlash from the athletic community. However, I did receive some backlash from certain parts of the LGBT community especially over my comments on masculine shaming. Which I understand, but my story wasn't to help people who were already out, it was to help people like me. 

Parrow’s openness about his identity is a milestone for the wrestling community. In a sport that has been historically homophobic, Parrow has now become a voice for an under representative minority. After receiving an outpour of support on Twitter for showing, once again, his LGBTQ pride, Parrow tweeted:

h/t: Outsports


Catholic Pastor Who Burned A Rainbow Flag Was Removed From Service

Last week, we shared with you the story of Pastor Fr. Paul Kalchik.

Kalchik, who presides over the Resurrection Catholic Church in Chicago, discovered a rainbow flag in his church building. He then announced that he would be burning the flag as sacrilege later this month.

As he wrote in the initial church message:

"We cannot let the current troubles keep us from our mission to go make more disciples for the Lord, nor should modern day distractions like global warming, LGBT 'rights' or even immigration issues ever take precedence over that mission.”

Thankfully, the Archidose of Chicago stepped in and told Kalchik that he couldn’t go through with the burning. At the time, Kalchick regretfully followed the orders.

Though, he didn’t follow them for long.

We now learn that Kalchik later went through with the burning despite the orders placed upon him.

After he did so, Kalchik’s life took a drastic change, according to the Chicago Tribune. He allegedly received multiple hate messages and even death threats from the community around him. These threats became so bad that Kalchik had to start using police escort to travel to and from the church and his home.

In addition, the Alchidose of Chicago has decided to remove Kalchik from his position at the Resurrection Catholic Church effective immediately. He was then replaced with Monsignor James Kaczorowski.

“For some weeks now, I have become increasingly concerned about a number of issues at Resurrection Parish,” read a letter by Chicago’s Archbishop, Cardinal Blase Cupich. “It has become clear to me that Fr. Kalchik must take time away from the parish to receive pastoral support so his needs can be assessed.”

“I do not take this step lightly,” the note read further. “Rather, I act out of concern for Fr. Kalchik’s welfare and that of the people of Resurrection Parish. I have a responsibility to be supportive of our priests when they have difficulties, but I also have a duty to ensure that those who serve our faithful are fully able to minister to them in the way the Church expects.”

That said, Annel Maselli, the spokeswoman for the archdiocese, says that this removal of Kalchik was not based on the burning of the rainbow flag.

“He is taking some time away from the parish,” Maselli said in an email on Saturday. “This has been in the works for some time and is not directly due to the flag burning.”

There’s currently no word on whether this removal is permanent or not.

As for Kalchik, who says he was sexually abused by a Chicago priest while he was a seminarian, his only words on the issue are that he doesn’t hate gay people. He says he only has hate for homosexuality itself.

“I’m about as much of a ‘gay basher’ as Mother Teresa of Calcutta,” the 56-year-old said in an interview with the Tribune on Friday. “Love the sinner, hate the sin — that’s as harsh as I get.”

h/t: Chicago Tribune

Pride Decorations Kicked Aside At A Polish Pride Fair

A video of a group of men kicking around a LGBT rights and pride stand is being shared like crazy.

Polish LGBT group Lambda Szczecian recently joined together with the “Equality on the Wave” association to release a small fair.

“There will be healthy cakes, salads, books, games, photo exhibition and other attractions,” said Lambda Szczecin on Facebook before the event.

The project in Szcezecin, Poland took place on Rayskiego Street and stretched from Zamenhof Square to Grunwaldzki Square, according to local news source Głos Szczeciński.

Unfortunately, a group of men stopped the fun as they started to violently kick the rainbow umbrellas placed across the street.

A few phones caught the moment on video and one such video made its way onto Facebook. It has then spread online through several posters like the Racist and Xenophobic Behavior Monitoring Center.

The police are currently investigating the situation, but no arrests have been made at the moment.

 “We’re looking into it,” says Commissioner Mirosława Rudzińska from the Police Headquarters in Szczecin. 

“If offenders are caught, they will most likely face charges for hooliganism,” added hate crime officer  Dr Piotr Godzisz according to Gay Star News.

“Most likely, there will not be a penalty top-up for the homophobic motivation.”

h/t: Głos Szczeciński, Gay Star News

This Lesbian Couple Painted Their House Rainbow To Fight Violent And Hateful Neighbors

In order to get back at homophobic neighbors, a lesbian couple turned their house into pride colors.

According to WTAE Pittsburgh, a couple named Lisa Licata and Seherry Lau live in Penn Hills, Pennsylvania. When they moved into their home, they immediately knew that their next door neighbors were homophobic.

Unfortunately, that hate turned its head to the couple as their neighbors, Ron Makay and Iolanda Wieczorkowski, started to call them slurs like d**** and homo.

Things escalated into violent measures last month when Makay allegedly shot Licata and Lau’s dog with a BB gun. Police got involved and charged Makay with animal cruelty and discharging an air rifle.

Finally saying enough is enough, Licata and Lau decided to build a fence between their house and the next one. Then just for added measure, they painted the side facing Makay and Wieczorkowski’s house with rainbow colors.

After the neighbors complained, they then decided to paint that whole side of their house Pride colors.

“Our rainbow fence really ticked them off. Initially we were only going to do the fence, but when he complained to our municipality about our rainbow fence, and the hate continued, we decided to go big and do the side of the house that faces them,” Licata told PinkNews.

Not only were the couple helped by friends in order to paint the whole side of the house, but they were greeted with online support after the fact.

"The reaction of the community has been great!" Licata said to Mashable. "Mostly everyone has been so supportive ... The neighbors have been quiet because they’ve been told by their attorney to be quiet."

While the neighbors have been quiet, because their attorney has told them to remain quiet, Lau and Licata say that this isn’t the end. Not only will they be appearing for Makay’s court hearing concerning their dog, but the couple shared they intend to paint their entire house with rainbow colors.

“This is the 21st century,” Lau told WTAE Pittsburgh. “We live here. We’re not moving. My family accepts us. Our friends accept us. If you don’t like it, just live your life, leave us alone and everything’s cool.”

h/t: WTAE Pittsburgh, PinkNews, Mashable

Apple Blocked The Apple Watch’s Gay Pride Feature In Russia

Come Pride month, Apple is constantly promoting its commitment to celebrating equality and diversity in all ways, but it looks like Apple has its exceptions.

For instance, Apple announced the Pride Apple Watch face back in June. The design is reminiscent of the Pride flag and is meant to boldly announce Apple, and Apple users’, support for LGBTQ people.

Unfortunately, iOS developer Guilherme Rambo discovered yesterday that the Apple Watch face has been “hardcoded to not show up if the paired iPhone is using the Russian locale.”

After Rambo made this announcement, Verge reporter Tom Warren tested out the device and found that the Watch face disappears as soon as the connected iPhone switches to a Russian location.

Plus, the Mirror reports that the optional Apple’s Watch Pride strap also doesn’t sell in the country of Russia.

Again, this development is confusing as Apple has openly supported LGBTQ rights before, but it seems like it all comes down to money and the law.

In 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed in a “gay propaganda” law. The law is supposedly designed to protect Russian citizens, specifically the youth, from being subjected to viewing LGBTQ content.

It seems that by banning the Apple Watch Pride face, Apple preemptively blocked the design from appearing in Russian quarters. As such, there’s no risk of being fined by the government.

That said, that’s only an assumption made by those who have discovered this hardcoding. In addition, Apple hasn’t made a comment on this development since Rambo initially pointed it out yesterday.

h/t: The Verge, The Mirror, Fast Company

This New York Teen Came Out At His High School Graduation (And The Crowd Went Crazy)

18-year-old Shankar Lal is starting to get some attention on his Instagram account. Why? Because of a video from two months ago.

Earlier this year, Lal decided it was time for him to come out. He first did so by speaking privately to his family, which went… ok.

While his family didn’t outright reject them, he told Buzzfeed News that they were also “concerned and taken aback.”

"I approached this situation as an opportunity to educate them," he said. "I tried my best to teach them about LGBT people and culture."

With that job done, Shankar Lal took on the next step. Coming out to his school. And what better time to do that than at graduation?

This past June, Lal graduated from the Media Arts & Music program at Hillcrest High School in New York. It was at his ceremony that he left a lasting impression on his now alma mater.

"I decided that I wanted to come out at graduation a month before it actually happened," the recent grad told BuzzFeed. "I remember shopping at Target and seeing all the pride gear. I thought to myself, Wouldn’t it be crazy if I just whipped out a pride flag at graduation?"

Thankfully, someone recorded the stunning moment.


we love a good reveal #classof2018 #pride #loveislove #lgbt #pridemonth #dragrace

A post shared by Shankar (@thatsoshanks) on

"The response was insane," Lal said. "I walked across the stage with my pride flag over my shoulders and suddenly everyone started cheering for me. I remember hearing my principal and teachers tell me they were proud of me."

“There was so much love in that room. It was amazing. Even on social media, I had so much love and support. Coming out on graduation was definitely one of the proudest moments in my life.”

h/t: Buzzfeed News

Hateful Reviewer Criticized A Boston Restaurant For Hanging A Pride Flag

A Massachusetts restaurant owner received a negative review after he hung a small pride flag on the outside window of his establishment.

According to Boston25News, Italian-born Nino Barbalace moved to the U.S. with the dream of opening a restaurant and eventually made that dream a reality by opening Zia Gianna last year.

Sadly, a blemish has appeared on that realized dream in the form of a one-star Yelp review.

"I saw one star and I said, 'wow, what happened?'" said Barbalace. 

It turns out, the review didn’t have anything to do with the restaurant itself, but the small flag that hung on its front window.

"It was personal," said Barbalace. "If you go to a place and you’re not happy with the food or the service, I understand that if I made a mistake because we all make mistakes. This is a restaurant, not politics."

But what did the review say?

"Well, that flag says all when you delve deeper and see the real customer base here,” started the review.

“It's clearly geared and catered only to those who rally behind the rainbow flag,” the reviewer later added.

Thankfully, this small moment of homophobia and hate was met with a stream of acceptance and love from repeat customers.

For instance, a costumer named Andrade visited the Zia Ginna this past Friday, August 17, and spoke with Boston 25 News to share words of love for the establishment.

"Luckily we live in the land of the free and people are entitled to their own opinion, but I do think it’s something to understand that we are an open community and there are people who come from all different countries and all different backgrounds and we should be welcoming of everyone," said Andrade. 

Since then, the Yelp review has been taken down by its creator and the pride flag has remained up and out in the open.

Love won this day.

h/t: Boston 25 News

A Virginia Grandmother Goes Viral After Ironing Her Grandchild's Bisexual Pride Flag

A Virginia grandmother went viral after her granddaughter shared the image of a loving gesture.

This past weekend, a woman named Lexie tweeted out a picture of her grandmother ironing her bisexual pride flag before she headed out to Washington, D.C.’s Pride.

In the tweet, which now has 34,300 comments, 239,000 likes, and 33,000 retweets, she wrote:

“I got up this morning to get ready for #DCPride. My grandma walked into my room, looked at my bi flag, and said, ‘Oh, this needs to be pressed out!’ Such a simple gesture, but it holds so much love and meaning for me.”

After she noticed that the original tweet was going viral, she sent out a second tweet explaining that she once was afraid to come out to her grandmother. That makes this gesture all the more meaningful.

Then finally, she tweeted out a third time to share a selfie with her grandmother while saying, “here’s another picture of my grandma because I want the world to see how beautiful she is! Show her some love! Happy pride y’all.”

h/t: NewNowNext

Could the Pride Flag be Offensive?

A woman in Brevard County, Florida received a surprising email from her HOA at Rockledge’s Ashwood Lakes community. The message was requesting that she remove the Pride rainbow flag that had been flying in front of her home for over two years.

Jenifer Raymond shared with WFTV 9 Orlando that her landlord received an email from a member of the neighborhood’s architectural review committee that only American, state, or military flags are allowed to be flown.

Raymond told WFTV:

It's a symbol of acceptance, tolerance and equality. They're saying it's offensive. To me, that's like saying I'm offensive because I exist.

Based on the community bylaws, the flag was deemed offensive and detrimental to the subdivision it also read the following:

Allowing the flag to be flown is setting a precedence for other homeowners to fly other offensive flags -- for example, the Confederate flag.

Meanwhile, other flags were found in the neighborhood which included one that displayed a flower, a Florida Gators flag, and a Thin Blue Line flag in support of law enforcement. Did these residents also receive this email? If flags are not specifically limited in the HOA bylaws, this could definitely be considered discrimination.

After the incident gained some statewide attention, Raymond received an apology from the HOA and stated that she can fly the rainbow flag for as long as she chooses.

According to WFTV, Robert Kelso, Vice President of the HOA, sent Raymond an email that read:

I thank you for contacting me this afternoon, as I and the rest of the Ashwood Lakes Homeowners Association, were unaware of the erroneous assertions of one of our ARC committee members. Board members contacted the property owner and his tenants to inform them that the rainbow flag is both acceptable to the board and welcome in Ashwood Lakes. Appropriate steps are underway to prevent a similar recurrence in the future.