Police are investigating after a pride flag at the Lucky Bean Cafe in Stratford, Prince Edward Island was stolen on Monday.
Owner Matthew Clendinning said as he left work around 5 p.m. Monday, the flag was on his mast waving. But when he returned around 11 p.m. with a few races, the flag and mast were gone.
“Part of me was like, ‘Oh, maybe it’s just someone from the community who just got a little too excited and grabbed the post and started flying it all over the place, doing his own. little walk ‘, but unfortunately I don’t think that was the case. “
In April, Clendinning said he was praised by a passer-by for removing the pride flag from his cafe in Montague, prompting him to ask for more support from the LGBTQ community in Three Rivers.
He said he was “disheartened” that not everyone supported the LGBTQ community, but acted like stealing pride flags, simply bolstering their support.
“I don’t want to dwell on the fact that my flag was missed or stolen. For example, I want to dwell on the fact that none of this will stop anything and everything from going from there. ‘before,’ he said.
“These acts of hate and homophobia, they’re not going to last, and we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing. We’re going to keep spreading rainbows and love, in color.”
Clendinning said that there appears to be more support and attention for the PEI Pride Festival this year, which is “fantastic.”
“But I think it now also shows the ugly side where there have been stolen flags, there have been damaged and vandalized flags.”
Another pride flag will be installed in his Stratford cafe, Clendinning said, and this time he’s setting up a camera to watch him.
Possibility to educate
Flag stealers and vandals shouldn’t be humiliated when caught, but educated, Clendinning said.
“These are closed-hearted, closed-minded people who maybe need to be loved,” he said. “It’s about educating them and trying to hope that they will open their eyes, their minds and their hearts.”
Clendinning thanks the islanders who joined in the pride festival celebration and hopes reports of stolen flags or vandalism will not put them off.
“I think at the end of it all, if there is one, then love would win.”