Neighbours show support after Pride flag ripped down in Ottawa neighbourhood

At least a dozen rainbow flags are decorating a Centretown west neighbourhood.

The sight, bringing a sense of pride for Ottawa resident Gegs Jones.

“I love it! I hadn’t seen so many before,” said Jones, who was walking along the street with his partner Ben Yang, counting each flag they could see.

The rainbow flags on display was a move residents on Poplar Street say was necessary after a rainbow flag hanging from a neighbour’s house was torn down Friday evening.

“I think a lot of people felt like it was a slap in the face because the family who put it up was trying to show support and they care for the community,” said Philip Robinson who lives on Poplar Street.

“it’s definitely disturbing. I help run an LGBTQ2S+ group and my mom is also part of that community and we have neighbours on our block that are, so it definitely hurt,” said neighbour Megan Dow.

The incident comes as people across the country recognize Pride month, celebrating the LGBTQ2S+ community, the history and the progress that’s been made. But as many on this street say, this latest act of vandalism shows more still needs to be done.

“It shouldn’t just be up to LGBTQ2S+ individuals to do all the heavy lifting you know. We’ve all got a role to play,” said Robinson.  

As more rainbow flags pop up throughout the city, neighbours say it will take more than the hurtful actions of those responsible to tear a community down.

“It’s harder to take down every flag versus one,” said Dow.

“It’s a symbol of how this community is going to act with challenges,” added Robinson. “Homophobes don’t mess with Poplar.”

The display of pride and allyship is inspiring Jones to put up a pride flag on his own home.

“We’re going to do it,” said Jones. “It’s wonderful, it’s great support. It’s really great support.”

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