LIa Bishop woke up Tuesday to find her Pride flag had been destroyed and left on her front porch.

B.C. woman’s pride flag cut up, left on doorstep

Lia Bishop says vandalism illustrates the need for displays of pride and inclusivity

An Abbotsford woman woke Tuesday to find the Pride flag hanging on her porch had been torn down and left at her front door in tatters.

Lia Bishop has hung the flag from her porch for the last several years during the spring and summer to build visibility and show support and inclusivity for the LGBTQ community, of which she is a member. She found her flag Tuesday morning up on the floor of her deck. It had been ripped or cut up, and a hose and other deck materials had been used to prevent the flag from flying away in the wind.

Bishop, who reported the incident to police and will be replacing the flag, said it was clear that the perpetrators wanted to send a message.

But Bishop, a sociology instructor at the University of the Fraser Valley, didn’t find the act of vandalism surprising, and said it illustrates the need for displays of pride in the first place.

“It is deeply disturbing that someone or some people took the effort to come onto my property in the middle of the night with the sole aim of destroying a symbol of acceptance,” Bishop wrote in an email.

“For me, it’s not about the mere vandalism of property, it’s about what specifically was targeted and the manner in which it was destroyed and left. More importantly, it’s about addressing why this specific symbol was attacked and what this says about the presence of intolerance and homophobia in our community today.”

Bishop said the incident shouldn’t be considered a single malicious act, but one that reflects lingering homophobia.

“I hope Abbotsford wholeheartedly rejects this form of hate, or any other for that matter, and takes a proactive approach to building a more inclusive community for every human being and social identity,” she said. “There’s so many people doing that great work already.”

Bishop is correct that vandalism of Pride symbols isn’t rare.

Last month, three Pride flags were stolen from the home of a Langley woman. The Township of Langley had previously removed a Pride flag from the woman’s house.

In Ladner, vandals defaced a Pride flag flown by the local United Church twice in 12 days.

And rainbow crosswalks across the province have been deliberately defaced, often shortly after being painted.

Mayor Henry Braun said Thursday that he was “saddened” to hear of the vandalism and that it didn’t have a place in the community.

“This is a form of bullying,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that there are people who they they have the freedom to do this to demonstrate that they don’t agree [with a person].

“We have an obligation to love our neighbour. My neighbour isn’t the person who lives next door to me. My neighbour is the person who crosses my path on a daily basis, from morning to evening.”

RELATED: Two more Pride flags have been stolen from Langley woman

RELATED: Church’s Pride flag defaced for second time in 12 days

RELATED: Crosswalk vandalism leaves black mark for Cowichan as B.C. Games begin


@ty_olsen
tolsen@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Oak Bay clinic opens virtual classes to public for fundraiser

Patient activity is up for cancer-supporting clinic during COVID-19 crisis

More than 1,500 people expected at Victoria peace rally for Black lives

‘To speak up, all you need is a voice and the will to be heard’

Saanich property tax notices in the mail, residents unable to pay in person

Payment options, late penalties adjusted due to COVID-19

Name of victims ‘ripped down’ from Victoria display

Organizers feel the act is ‘malicious’

Government Street becomes pedestrian-priority corridor

One block of downtown street closed to cars entirely

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

Cortes Island affordable housing project hangs by a thread

Regional decision makers resort to COVID-19 concerns despite virtual meeting option and push hearing to September

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

North Island recreation camping site closed due to vandalism

Damage happens every year, forcing site manager to reallocate improvement budget to repairs

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

Man found dead in his tent at Island homeless camp

Facebook posts tell of personal struggles and attempts to stay clean and sober

Most Read