Unity House has sent out an open letter regarding the rainbow flags that were torn from their door this past weekend. For those of our readers who do not receive allemp or allstu, the full letter appears after the jump. The authors of the letter allude to The Thrill‘s recent post “Deb Ball is for Faggots.”
Sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning, both of the rainbow flags hanging outside Unity House (NCA 3A) were taken. After we noticed the flags were missing, a report was made to Campus Safety, and then later that afternoon the flags were found in the woods behind F-Block, muddied and torn.
Unity House is one of only a handful of Safe Spaces on campus, and hanging the rainbow flags outside conveys to LGBTQ students and other community members that they can rely on Unity House as a Safe Space for people of any sexuality or gender identity. No matter the intent of those who removed the flags, the loss of these symbols damages the perceived safety of our community.
We have no way of knowing whether the removal of the flags was a threat, a prank meant in fun, or both; however, it frightens us to think that there might have been malicious intent behind it. We like to think this campus is safe for everyone, and the fact that we received 275 signatures on our Ally Pledge this past week proves we have made great strides in LGBTQ visibility and security. On the other hand, this vandalism to our property in the wake of The Thrill’s article about homophobic slurs on campus suggests to us that we as a community need to be more aware and proactive to ensure the continued comfort of our LGBTQ community members.
We keep our rainbow flags flying outside to show our pride, and to make us visible to the Kenyon community. To have both of them taken down and thrown into the forest makes us believe that it wasn’t an accident. As harmless as it might have seemed to those who did this, it scares us. No one in our community deserves to have their property stolen and hidden, and we shouldn’t feel worried about our personal safety or our property in this community. We will keep our flags outside flying high to remind ourselves and our community that we are proud of who we are. We will not take this as a sign that we need to be less visible in the community that we all share.
Samantha Biasca, Ben Kress, Linda Mullin, Robbie Sellers
The Residents of Unity House
Here is a screengrab of the actual email:
We will update you on the situation as more information becomes available.