Raising Our Flags High In Honor Of Lauri Carleton
Lauri Carleton was murdered by a man enraged that she was flying a Pride flag outside her California store. A fashion community fixture and longtime LGBTQ ally, she leaves behind a husband, 9 children, and a nation that must confront the wave of hate violence stoked daily by extremist politicians.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ has appealed to racism and anti-LGBTQ bigotry with rhetoric intended to dehumanize and erase our communities and our history. This kind of dangerous rhetoric encourages not only political attacks but also street violence and the wave of individuals menacing store owners and employees for including pride displays.
Blood is on the hands of DeSantis and every lawmaker who has enabled his hateful agenda that has done nothing but inspire cruelty and violence. They have called us every name in the book so that doing harm to us feels to their followers like a righteous act. We have said time and time again that Florida is the frontline, but this is a national fight. The political toxicity that DeSantis is creating for his own personal brand is putting lives in danger.
How do we respond when political extremists and hatemongers want us to be fearful and hide? We respond with greater unity, more visibility, and we look out for each other.
In the wake of the Pulse Nightclub massacre, our community and our allies put up rainbows and reminded people to dance in the face of fear - to show the world that we’d never let hate win.
We must honor Lauri, and all victims of hate violence, with action by raising our flags higher and more visibly than ever before. Stand with those businesses that send the message that their doors are open to all. Most importantly, we must continue to look out for each other, lean on each other, and resist the agenda of hate and cruelty that emboldens those who turn their animosity to violence.
Our hearts go out to Lauri’s husband and nine children.
Our flags will fly higher. Will you join us?
Visit OpenDoorsFlorida.org to shop with pro-equality businesses or to add your business to our directory.
We have rainbow RESIST flags available if you're in need of a flag for your house or business.