An Olympia, Washington beauty salon had a fantastic response to an act of homophobic vandalism to their store: buy bigger and more Pride flags.
The owners of Gatsby Parlour de Beauté found a flier taped to the salon’s door on September 30th that read, “Attention: You are in violation of natural laws of decency. Please remove the gay flag from your business facade.”
Staff removed the notice and kept the flag up. Four days later, someone smashed the front window.
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Hate, Bigotry, intolerance, fear. Well, to the person(s) who posted their “notice” AND to whom broke our window, AGAIN... You cannot stop us. We will rise, every time. That is the beautiful thing about the human spirit! We are still here and will band together. And here’s my “notice” to hate, bigots and ones who live in fear; You are outnumbered.#loveislove #queer #gatsbyoly #takebackolympia
Salon co-owner Jesse Flock told The Olympian, “This is Olympia. Like, this is a safe place, this is supposed to be our safe town where a lot of people that I consider refugees from other states [move to]. It broke my heart to see something like that.”
But Flock refused to allow hate to stop him from showing his support for Pride by hanging the flag outside his establishment.
“We’re getting bigger ones,” he said.
Police said similar notices were placed on two other local businesses that fly Pride flags. To help businesses that have been targeted, local LGBT+ group Capital City Pride has organized a fund to repair the storefronts.
“PLEASE–be safe, and PLEASE support all the businesses who proudly display the rainbow flag–let them know they are not alone. Let’s send a strong message: We stand together in support of LGBTQ rights,” the group said.
Gatsby Parlour de Beauté shared a photo of its fixed window on Instagram with the following caption:
“Thanks to everyone who stopped by donated and sent messages of support! This week was a difficult one for our salon. We are tired but full of love and hope gifted to us by our community. Love and peace.”
Lt. Paul Lower said the flyers could amount to a hate crime. He also added that police are currently investigating whether the window-breaking was related to the flier posting.