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

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

Abbotsford woman’s pride flag cut up and 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

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Six Chilliwack public schools have recent COVID-19 exposures

Student absentee rate dipped to almost 30 per cent during height of COVID-19 exposures

City of Chilliwack 2020 budget contains an emphasis on lighting upgrades, among other key priorities, with this example of the improved performance of LED lights. (City of Chilliwack)
UPDATE: Citizens weighed in virtually on the Chilliwack budget at Dec. 1 public hearing

Topics included sloughs, cycling, and blueways, as well as RCMP caseloads, and firehall staffing

DriveBC photo.
Westbound Highway 1 lanes in Abbotsford closed as crews investigate serious crash

Crash occurred between McCallum and Clearbrook roads at around 4 a.m., next update at 8 a.m.

A convoy of seven pickup trucks, six of which were hauling boats, makes its way around the Chilliwack Law Courts on Dec. 1, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
First court date for Fraser River anglers ticketed during demonstration fishery

Convoy of trucks circled the courthouse in downtown Chilliwack Tuesday honking their support

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

The westbound lanes of Highway 1 between Clearbrook and McCallum roads were closed to traffic Wednesday morning after a fatal collision involving a pedestrian.
Pedestrian dies after being struck by vehicle on Highway 1 in Abbotsford

Collision takes place early Wednesday morning between Clearbrook and McCallum roads

A teacher places the finishing touches on the welcome sign at Hunter’s Glen Junior Public School which is part of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Sept. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Hindsight 2020: How do you preserve a year many Canadians would rather forget?

Figuring out how to preserve the story of the pandemic poses a series of challenges

Haley Callison. (Facebook photo)
Former B.C. pro hockey player frustrated with COVID-deniers after horrific bout with virus

Haleigh Callison hopes people will follow precautions and tone down the rhetoric

FILE – A near empty waterfront train platform is pictured in downtown Vancouver, Monday, April 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
TransLink disables some services for second day due to ‘suspicious network activity’

Customers cannot use credit card or debit card at fare gates or Compass card vending machines

A man stands in the window of an upper floor condo in Vancouver on March 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Change made to insurance for B.C. condo owners amid rising premiums

Council CEO Janet Sinclair says the change will mean less price volatility

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Walking Curriculum gets students outside and connecting with nature. (Amanda Peterson/Special to S.F. Examiner)
‘Walking Curriculum’ crafted by SFU professor surges in popularity

The outdoor curriculum encourages students to connect with the natural world

Mirandy Tracy, left, and Tara Kurtz are two Langley mothers who are organizing a "sick out" for Tuesday, Dec. 1 to protest COVID conditions in schools. They're calling for masks and smaller class sizes, among other things. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Politician, labour leader throw support behind student Sick Out day

Langley parents started the movement to keep kids home on Dec. 1 as a protest

Most Read