Theft of Pride flag is not a small thing

To the Editor:

During the night of June 15, Emmanuel Church, like several homes and businesses, had a Pride flag and banner stolen from the fencing around the church on Cross Street.

While it may seem like a small thing, it was and is not.

The hurt and pain it caused the church community, particularly LGBTQ members of the church community, is real. For people who have experienced marginalization and denigration, who have been harassed throughout their lives, this was one more insult, one more message that they are not considered fully human or equal to others. One more violation of their dignity; their very selves.

I am grateful that Chief Dixon and the Chestertown Police acted quickly and found the young men who stole property and inflicted this harm. I have asked if I can speak with them — I want them to understand that what they did is not about a flag or a banner, it is about people. It is about violating the dignity of human beings, made, I believe, in God’s image.

In the meantime, I am grateful for how quickly the people of Emmanuel responded with love and support, and for how quickly the Chestertown community pulled together and supported each other. May we continue to do so. May we work together to make this a community where all people, every blessed person, is treated with respect and dignity.

The Rev. Claire Nevin-Field
Emmanuel Episcopal Church

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