DELTA (NEWS 1130) — Days after a pride flag hanging at Ladner United Church was defaced for the second time in less than two weeks, people living in the area say that is not the community they know and love.
Some in the community say they are shocked, and frustrated with the vandalism, including Alex Sangha from North Delta.
— Jonathan Szekeres (@jonszekeres) June 18, 2019
Sangha is the founder Sher Vancouver, a group that supports the South Asian LGBTQ community. He says he’s never felt uncomfortable in the city.
“I’ve never had a problem in North Delta being gay and being brown, I’ve had more discrimination in my own South Asian community for coming out and being out about it than I’ve ever experienced (here),” he says, adding he been faced with homophobic slurs in the city.
“My high school was very difficult, and coming out within my old community was very difficult, but I’ve always felt very accepted in North Delta.”
Sangha says he is proud of the local church for raising the flag, and frustrated to learn it had been vandalized.
He says it’s an important symbol for LGBTQ people in the community to see, especially young ones.
“These young gay people going by it and watching it and seeing it, and it boosts their self-esteem, their self confidence and makes them feel accepted and makes them feel embraced and welcomed because the one thing young queer people fear the most is being rejected,” he says.
“It’s very powerful to see even a rainbow crosswalk or the mayor coming out and putting up the pride flag, or their local church putting up a symbol, because it sends a message to them, no you don’t have to kill yourself, no you don’t have to be in isolation and be alone. You are loved and we welcome you, and the community is going to support you.”
Delta Police say the vandalism is disappointing, but aren’t saying much about the investigation.