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"TAKE DOWN YOUR FLAG"



This is not a Pride post that I wanted to make. Yesterday I received an anonymous letter with no return address pressuring me to take down the Pride flag I have displayed in my apartment window. The flag has been in my window since the start of pride month as a symbol of hope, love, and unity. Unfortunately, by not signing the letter or providing a return address, Anonymous Writer (A.W.) did not leave me with an opportunity to start a dialogue with them, or respond to them privately. Because of that, I am compelled to write a public post responding to some of their more hurtful, cruel statements.



Is it really necessary for you to flaunt the flag on your apt. window for all to see? Is it your intention to brag/recruit/or gain attention to your life-style?

First, A.W., please be clear that it is not my intention to flaunt my "lifestyle," or recruit people to my way of life (I'm not even sure how that works, to be totally honest, as being gay is not comparable to joining, say, the Boy Scouts). My sexuality is not a lifestyle. It is a completely normal part of my life, one that has historically been oppressed. My predecessors fought for freedom and equality, and we celebrate their success every year during Pride month.


Also, the word "recruitment" implies the ability to make a choice- I had no choice. I was born gay, and that’s something that I have come to love and accept over years of tears, therapy, and heartache. People like you were a large reason why I was afraid to accept myself and lived in fear. I DO take pride in who I am and everything that makes me me, and I will never apologize for that. If that is offensive to you, A.W., so be it. I live my life to make a positive change, not to please uninformed individuals who hide behind anonymity.

I would have thought your election results last fall would have indicated the feelings of this conservative, Catholic community.

A.W., I am hurt that you chose to reduce my campaign for city council to such a small portion of what I stand for, and insinuate that I lost the election because I am gay. I wanted my gayness to be known to my constituents because I believe in transparency. I also made it very clear, and continue to do so through my extensive community involvement (you can read about that here), that I love the city of Batesville. Although your letter was hurtful and unkind, I know that my city loves me. I know that this letter is not a reflection of the community that has supported me time and time again and has given me limitless opportunities to grow over the past five years.

Please be respectful of others and replace [the flag] with original window covering.

Finally, dear A.W., I regret to inform you that I will not be taking down my flag anytime soon. Although I intended to take it down at the conclusion of pride month, it is clear that some people could use a little more love, and a little more hope, which is symbolized in the Pride flag. Although I would have said all of this to you in a private letter, you left me with no choice but to respond in a public format. I hope this letter finds you, and I hope you find it in yourself to love your neighbor as yourself.


Sincerely,


Paul Satchwill


P.S. flags to hang in my other windows are in the mail 🏳️‍🌈 🏳️‍🌈 🏳️‍🌈



RESOURCES FOR PERSONAL GROWTH or SELF-ACCEPTANCE


B.T. Harman- Lifeboats


Paul Satchwill- Coming Out of Fear


Kathy Baldock- Untangling the Mess


The Trevor Project





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