Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Architecture Wednesday: Ah, Retirement

I’ve always told Carlos that when retirement comes — and it cannot come too soon — I’d like to settle in Merida, Mexico, near the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula … or … maybe high in the mountains in San Miguel de Allende, a slight trek north of Mexico City. Both places are arty and historic and just so beautiful, but, this week, it’s Merida where I need to live.

This home, located in the city’s historic center sits on an oddly shaped patch of land that made it slightly more difficult to reimagine the former colonial home into something a bit more modern, but I think they worked it out just fine.

The original house is just sixteen feet wide and some 131 feet long, with an irregular “L” shaped bend at the back. In addition, the walls on either side are shared with neighbors which caused a difficulty of access to machinery and construction tools.

But, as I said, or Tim Gunn said, they “made it work.”

The ground floor consists of a main hall, wine cellar — and goddess knows I loves my winesguest bathroom and double height indoor garden; the open plan living, dining and kitchen are just beyond, and a garden with a small pool is just steps away.

Upstairs are the private areas; a guest bedroom and bath, and the master bedroom and bath with its own terrace overlooking the pool. These two bedrooms are connected by a bridge over the central garden.

Since the project is located in the historic center, it was governed by strict regulations, and so the first two bays of the existing property remain as they were; the original masonry walls and reinforced concrete slabs are preserved, but are enhanced by gray and white exposed concrete and wood with a walnut finish, and the gorgeous wall of brightly painted Mexican tiles.

The indoor garden gives the house more natural light, as well as ventilation. The interior is also integrated with the outside through the large windows at the back that can be fully opened, creating a single space between inside and out.

It’s the perfect place to retire … with a glass of wine and a dip in the pool.

This Is Trans: Tracey Norman

It was way back in 1975 when Clairol Nice ‘n Easy launched a new hair color, No 512, aimed at black women, and on the box they featured Tracey Norman, one of the first black supermodels and the second black woman, after Beverly Johnson, to appear on the cover of Vogue.

Clairol’s No 512 became a huge seller and Tracey Norman’s career was off and running. But Tracey had a secret and in 1980, on another photo shoot, that secret was revealed: Tracey Norman was a trans woman, and so, without anyone knowing, for a while, she was also the first black transgender model.

Today there are several trans models working steadily — Andreja Pejić, Carmen Carrera, Lea T and Hari Nef — but forty years ago I don’t think many people knew a trans person, or even knew what trans meant. In those days, holding her secret close, Tracey Morgan would utter a little prayer every single day:
“Please don’t let this be the day.”
That day came in 1980 and in a flash her career was over … until now. This year, at age sixty-three, Tracey Norman is back, once again modeling for Clairol as the face of its new “Color As Real As You Are” campaign. In that ad, Tracey says:
“Back in the 70s it was a different world for transgender women … I had to hide my truth. … It’s good to be back and it’s really good to be me.”
Her truth; she’s a black woman, a trans woman, a woman in her sixties, and she’s a cover-girl once again.

Tracey Norman says that even as a child she knew her body didn’t match her gender and the day she graduated high school, she finally shared that truth with her mother; as often happens, Tracey’s mother says she always knew, too.

Tracey started taking hormones — thanks to a doctor working under the table for the trans community — and soon became the girl she’d always known she was meant to be; she was also getting noticed for her beauty and slowly came around to the idea of modeling.

In 1975, she saw several black models on a New York street and followed them, sure they were going to a photo shoot. But those other girls were going to a casting and soon Tracey found herself facing designer Luciano Soprani, photographer Irving Penn, and an editor for Italian VogueThe next day she got the call; she was set for a two-day photo shoot that paid $3,000, and Irving Penn began boasting that he had discovered the next Beverly Johnson.

Tracey’s ride ended in 1980, on a photo shoot for Essence magazine; a hair assistant who had always seemed a little too interested in Tracey’s life, came onto the set and spoke to the magazine’s editor, Susan Taylor. The shoot was over; as was her career. Tracey is certain that the hair assistant had discovered her secret but Taylor says that wasn’t true:
“No one could have outed her to me. I always suspected she was genetically male. I accepted her as she presented herself, as an exquisitely beautiful black woman.”
Still, the secret was out, and Tracey Norman was suddenly out of a job.  She soon moved to Paris and worked low-profile jobs before returning to New York and a smaller agency. She was hired for an Ultra Sheen cosmetics ad, but when the ad came out people began talking about “the girl who’d been a boy” and she was done; again.

Tracey moved back home to live with her mother, and she began working at Show Center, a Times Square peep show featuring trans women; she also became a “legend” in the ballroom community — in which different “houses” compete against each other in drag balls; she soon became “mother” in the House of Africa and in 2001, she was inducted into the ballroom house of fame.

That was Tracey’s life and she was fine with it; she was herself and that was probably all that mattered, But late last year New York Magazine ran a cover story on her and life changed for her again; after all those years of being “invisible” to the world of modeling, Tracey finally realized that she had made history and that her story deserved to be told; and that’s when Clairol came calling again.

So, she’s come back to modeling, as a black woman, a trans woman of color, and a woman of a certain age, and none of it makes a difference any more.
“I’m hoping people will take away from this that I am human and I was presented with this great opportunity to better my life. Unfortunately, because of people’s prejudices I was not able to do it.”
But she is doing it now. And looking fabulous, too.

This is trans; this is Tracey Norman.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

ISBL Asshat of the Week: Maine’s Racist Republican Governor, Paul LePage

We’ve all been so caught up in the rantings of that racist, bigoted, carnival sideshow barking GOP nutjob Donald [t]Rump, that we almost, almost, missed that other racist, bigoted —and homophobic — carnival side barking GOP nutjob, Maine’s Republican governor, Paul LePage, who went off the rails in spectacular fashion recently.

As [t]Rump did early on in his campaign to become Hater-In-Chief by remarking that Mexicans are rapists, drug dealers and murderers, Governor LePage came out and said that “90 percent-plus” of those arrested for dealing drugs in Maine “are black and Hispanic people from Waterbury, Connecticut, the Bronx and Brooklyn.”

Cuz, you know, all the good white folks in Maine wouldn’t buy, sell, or do drugs; it’s those nasty Blacks and Mexicans.

And shortly after that, when Drew Gattine, a Democratic representative for the state of Maine,  criticized him for those remarks, LePage called Gattine a “cocksucker” and then warned Gattine that he was “after” him”:
“I want to talk to you. I want you to prove that I’m a racist. I’ve spent my life helping black people and you little son-of-a-bitch, socialist cocksucker. You, I need you to, just freakin’, I want you to record this and make it public because I am after you. Thank you.”
And so Gattine did make it public, which may not have been what LePage really wanted because he then did that GOP non-apology-apology thing that they do, by apologizing to the people of Maine:
“I called Gattine … the worst word I could think of. I apologize for that to the people of Maine, but I make no apology for trying to end the drug epidemic that is ravaging our state. Legislators like Gattine would rather be politically correct and protect ruthless drug dealers than work with me to stop this crisis that is killing five Mainers a week.”
He then said that his threat to go “after” Gattine was just his way of saying he would “do everything I could to see that he and his agenda is defeated politically.”

Yeah, except he didn’t say that.

Now, this might come as a surprise … to some … while others realize that this kind of divisionism is what the GOP does … but LePage has been off-the-rails crazy for the last half-decade.

As a candidate, he vowed to tell President Obama to “go to hell,” while also telling the NAACP to “kiss my butt.” He demanded that the state’s able-bodied unemployed “get off the couch and get a job,” and said that asylum seekers bring “hepatitis C, tuberculosis, AIDS, HIV, the ziki fly” — I think he meant the Zika mosquito — to Maine and warned that out-of-state men with names like “D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty,” come to Maine to sell drugs and “impregnate a young white girl” before leaving.

Yeah, so the idea that people think Paul LePage is a bigot, a homophobe, a racist, and a nut job has seemingly been proven by the very words of Paul LePage. But then, think again, the things he’s saying are the same kinds of things the big GOP nutjob, the one with the dead raccoon on his said, has been saying for months, to throngs of supporters.

But there might be good news out of Maine; after calling LePage “unfit to serve as governor right now” — ya think? — Assistant House Democratic Leader Sara Gideon said Republican leaders should stage an intervention to get LePage “the help he needs” if he does not resign 
LePage responded by saying he would resign … if Gattine did as well.

And then, because racists cannot seem to help themselves, he stepped even deeper into the Looney pool that Donald [t]Rump created for the GOP by telling a room full of reporters that people of color are the “enemy” in Maine’s war on drugs and that they must be … wait for it, this man’s a politician, an elected official … they must be killed:
“Look, a bad guy is a bad guy, I don’t care what color it is. When you go to war, if you know the enemy, the enemy dresses in red and you dress in blue, you shoot at red, don’t you? You shoot at the enemy. You try to identify the enemy. And the enemy right now, the overwhelming majority right now coming in are people of color or people of Hispanic origin. I can’t help that. I just can’t help it. Those are the facts,”
LePage then played show-and-tell with a binder full of drug offenders' mug shots to bolster his bogus claim that 90% of drug offenders in Maine are black or Hispanic men from other states.

I could go on because this man is fodder for a rant of epic proportions, but I think I’ll let one of Maine’s most famous citizens, author Stephen King say his piece:
"Our governor, Paul LePage, is a bigot, a homophobe, and a racist. I think that about covers it."
Well, except that in addition to all of that, Paul LePage is also the ISBL Asshat of the Week!

Monday, August 29, 2016

My Two Cents On Colin Kaepernick Staying Seated During The National Anthem

There are times you have to sit down to take a stand; Rosa Parks did it 1955 when she refused to give up her seat on that bus, and Colin Kaepernick, quarterback for the 49ers, did it in 2016 when he decided not to stand for the national anthem during a preseason game. Kaepernick explained:
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
And some people went nuts. How dare he not stand! How dare he take the anthem and turn it into some kind of racial protest! And, as a friend of mine ::: sigh ::: posted on Facebook, “Let him find a new nation.”

Yes, America! Love it or leave! But for goddess’s sake, don’t try to fix it, don’t try to stand up against oppression — especially when you are a person of color yourself, as is Kaepernick.

But how else might he have gotten his point across? A press conference? Sure, a few reporters would have come and written about it, but it would have been nothing more, and a few days later it would have been forgotten. By sitting down, Kaepernick grabbed all the media attention, and that of Americans; he got people talking, and that’s the biggest step, the first step, really, into trying to resolve the race issue in this country.

Oh, and before anyone says ‘What race issue,’ I’m gonna tell you, we still have a race issue. Just look at the vitriol heaped upon our first black president even before he entered office. We have a race problem in America and acting like we don’t, or denigrating those who dare speak out about it, belittling the Black Lives Matter movement or even Colin Kaepernick,  is not going to help anyone.

Let me go back a bit … in New York City, in July of 1966, Sidney Street, a black New York City bus driver, heard on the radio about the shooting of James Meredith, a civil rights activist. Street was incensed that this was happening in America, and so he took an old forty-eight star flag to the street corner and began speaking about how the flag did not represent people of color; no one paid him any mind. So, Sidney Street set the flag on fire, and suddenly a small crowd gathered. His voice was heard; his anger was heard; his pain was heard.
“We don't need no damn flag ! … I burned it. If they let that happen to Meredith, we don't need no damn flag !"
Sidney Street was charged with violating the New York flag desecration statute and was subsequently found guilty. He appealed the verdict all the way to the Supreme Court saying the statute was too broad, it was too vague, and that it punished Street for burning the flag, when he had, in fact, burned it as an act of protest and that is protected by the First Amendment.

The Supreme Court found the statute unconstitutional and reversed the conviction.

And that’s the same thing Kaepernick is doing; he’s protesting; he’s speaking his mind; he’s being American. And he  has the support of his team, the 49ers, who released this statement:
“The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose and participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.”
Freedom of expression; trouble is, many people don’t think Kaepernick’s expression was valid because, again, he was talking about race. And that’s a subject too many of us refuse to have, refuse to face, refuse to hear. Even the National Football League [NFL] stood up for Kaepernick:
Players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the National Anthem."
They say that Colin Kaepernick took a risk by taking this stand, taking a seat, during a preseason game because, right now, his spot as quarterback is not secure. I say, what better time; he’s willing to lose his job to make a statement, to make a point, to start a dialogue.

His decision has sent many fans into overload, racing all around Facebook, and other social media avenues, posting pictures of soldiers standing for the anthem; my favorite is of a soldier who apparently lost both his legs in battle and he’s “standing up” by holding his body up with his arms from a  wheelchair.

People are saying that man stands, why can’t Kaepernick; I say that man stands because he fought for America and what it means to be Americans and the rights we have in America, to not stand if we so choose. To use that soldier’s picture just bolsters the argument that Kaepernick had the right not to stand. That’s America.

For his part, Colin Kaepernick acknowledged how risky his move may have been:
“I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right.”
Kaepernick, whose mother is white and whose father is black, was raised by a white couple who adopted him; he has felt the sting of racism himself. He told a story of a family vacation he took as a child and the way people treated him differently because he didn’t look like his mother and father:
“We used to go on these summer driving vacations and stay at motels, and every year, in the lobby of every motel, the same thing always happened, and it only got worse as I got older and taller. It didn’t matter how close I stood to my family, somebody would walk up to me, a real nervous manager, and say: ‘Excuse me. Is there something I can help you with?’”
He knows about seeming different, being treated differently, because of appearance, and so his protest of the black lives lost in police shootings, police run-ins, police stops, in this country, is just more of the same.

Colin Kaepernick isn’t the first athlete to speak out against racism in this country, and hopefully he won’t be the last. Last month, several Women's National Basketball Association [WNBA] players spoke to the media about the killings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, while wearing “Black Lives Matter: Enough Is Enough” T-shirts; later that same month, NBA players Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James opened the ESPY Awards by speaking out about violence against people of color by police:
“The system is broken, the problems are not new, the violence is not new and the racial divide definitely is not new. But, the urgency to create change is at an all-time high.” — Carmelo Anthony
That’s no different than what Colin Kaepernick did, except that he chose a game to make his stand; he chose the national anthem as the background music to his protest. And in doing so, his silence, his talking a seat, might be the loudest protest of all.

As with Sidney Street, sometimes you have to be loud, with a match, or with staying seated, to let people, know, let America know, that we still have work to do.

And we must all realize we have work to do when we realize that over sixty years after Rosa Parks refused to stand as a protest of racial inequality in the country, Colin Kaeprencik had to do the  exact same thing.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

It's Snarkurday!

Little Tommy Cruise has stomped his platform shoes and halted production on the sixth … or sixtieth … Mission Impossible film until he gets more coins.

I guess custom shoes with two-inch lifts are expensive.

Cruise has a back-end deal … and I let y’all do the double entendre on that one … with the folks producing MI 60 but will not begin work until they agree to meet and exceed the back-end deal … seriously the jokes could write themselves … he got for being Brendon Fraser in The Mummy reboot.

The Mummy reboot of a reboot is part of Universal’s upcoming plan to remake, reboot, release all of their old monsters … Frankenstein, Dracula, The Creature from the Black Lagoon … Lindsay Lohan. Universal thinks that this new franchise is going to make them buttloads of money so they’re giving buttloads … again with the jokes … to Tommy.

And once Tommy gets a buttload, he wants one from everyone else but he best be careful … if Universal replaced Fraser with Cruise for The Mummy, maybe Paramount will head down to the Chipotle on La Cienega and tell Brendan Fraser to turn in his apron, the movies are calling … again.

Lindsay Lohan, who can only get work as a drunken cracktress on a yacht these days, has been asked to appear on Russian television to discuss her break-up with Egor Tarabasov.

Huh. Russian TV? Was Wendy Williams unavailable for the chat?

I digress because here’s where it gets funny … Lohan apparently thinks she's a humongous movie star and so she asked for all kinds of shiz before she would agree to go on Russian TV and talk about how Egor was caught with a Russian hooker after having dinner with his American hooker.

Still, the Russian talk show Pust govoryat — airing on a state-owned station — wants Lohan and so she sent a ransom letter, er, list of demands …

She  wants 500,000 Pounds — at first I thought it was “in drugs” and then I realized it was British pounds, equal to $660,000 American dollars — and also wants a private jet to travel back and forth with hair, makeup and manicurist onboard, her own security team, a one year Russian visa with extension and she wants to meet President Vladimir Putin for selfies.

Puta? Meet Putin!

Russia is countering with a rented Fiat, a prepaid gas card, a Maybelline gift bag, a Disneyland Visa, and a photo op with Yakoff Smirnoff.

Does the ‘D’ in DMX stand for ‘Duggar’ because rapper DMX has just revealed that he has become a papa for the fifteenth time after his girlfriend Desiree Lindstrom gave birth to his latest and her first.

DMX made 4 kids with ex-wife Tashera Simmons so that’s five kids with two women and then ten kids with a number of others.

But don’t worry about DMX going broke paying for all those kids; he doesn’t, apparently. Last year, he was arrested twice for not paying child support to Tashera and some other Baby Mama. In 2015 he spent six months in the jail for non-payment of child support.

Huh; maybe the ‘D’ in DMX stands for ‘Deadbeat Dad.’

Or maybe ‘Douchebag,’ because DMX says he picks his Baby Mamas “just like a dog. I sniff the ass, I wag my tail.”


When we last left the two bald-headed loudmouths, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Vin Diesel, they were still feuding.

The Rock took to Instagram to thank everyone he worked with on Fast and Furious 852 … except for  Vin Diesel ... Ouch ... That’s sooooo Mean Girls ... while Vin had vowed to expose The Rock.

Now, Vin has walked that threat back and took to Facebook to whisper sweet nothings about Johnson:
“The reason we brought Dwayne Johnson into Fast 5 was because of you! There was a girl named Jan Kelly who said, ‘I would love to see you guys work together on screen.’ So the role that was initially written for Tommy Lee Jones, we gave it to Dwayne, and he shined in it.”
Really? Tommy Lee Jones? Somewhere in the Appalachian Mountains, Jones is loading buckshot into a rifle, sipping a Budweiser and saying,
“The fuck you did.”

Melania is all [t]Rump, apparently, because she is now threatening to sue people who say mean things about her.

Plagiarism. College drop-out. Illegal immigrant. It’s cool, I have my lawyer on speed-dial. And Melania doesn’t care about those stories because she’s rich, er, married to a rich man, er, married to a man who says he’s rich.

But, listen up, do not ever imply that Melania was once a high-class hooker … think Lohan with a higher price-tag.

The Daily Mail recently repeated a story about the New York modeling agency that Melania was signed to in the 1990s, run by Paolo Zampolli. It was ALLEGEDLY a modeling agency but rumor has it that the “models” made most of their money working as escorts.

So, when Zampolli brought Melania over from her first and last year in college was she modeling nude … or just ‘dating’ nude?

Melania’s attorney, Charles Harder — yes, that is his name ... is his firm called Harder, Harder, HARDER ? — is threatening to go after the  Daily Mail for their ALLEGATIONS.

Again … I have a lawyer on speed dial …

Conrad Hilton walked out of jail just two weeks ago, and now he’s in another messy situation.

Connie is being sued by a woman who says he crashed his father’s Range Rover head-first into her car and was all kinds of drunk—and covered in vomit—when he got out to survey the damages.

Kelly Auld, the woman suing Connie, says that it was just a few hours after a judge slapped Hilton’s wrists for one of his many other crimes, that he had been out drinking and driving and crashing into her car.

Kelly says she saw Hilton swerving like a fool in the Range Rover and says she saw that he was looking ‘dazed and confuses’ and had both hands above his head before he hit one car and then drove right into her, and witnesses say Connie got out of the car, tossed a bong into the bushes and was covered in vomit.

The Range Roger Connie wrecked was registered to Hilton & Hyland, his daddy’s real estate company because, as Kelly discovered, Conrad Hilton was court-ordered not to drive.

I think Connie is trying to out-do big sister Paris … remember how much havoc she caused acting the drunken rich bitch fool?

Oh Amber and Johnny, I thought everything was settled and we’d stop hearing from you … I was wrong. A week ago, Amber Heard announced that she would be donating all $7 million of her divorce settlement to charity. She said she would split the money between the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and the ACLU. And since her announcement seemed to make it clear that she was not a golddigger, Johnny Depp had to do something …

Depp began by praising Amber for donating his, er, her  money to charity and was, in fact, so moved, that he will not be giving any money to Amber but will cut the charity checks himself.

Except … while Johnny did send checks to the ACLU and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles — they’re to get $3.5 million each—in Amber’s name, he didn’t send all of it; Johnny’s going on the installment plan.

Depp’s rep says:
“Following Amber Heard’s announcement that her divorce settlement was to be divided equally and gifted to Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and the American Civil Liberties Union, two exceptionally deserving and important charities, Johnny Depp has sent the first of multiple installments of those monies to each charity in the name of Amber Heard, which when completed will honor the full amount of Ms. Heard’s pledge. Ms. Heard’s generosity in giving to these wonderful causes is deeply respected.” Everybody happy now?"
Um, no … because  Depp was supposed to pay Amber $7 million so she could donate it to whichever organization she chose and he’s not giving it all away at once as was, ALLEGEDLY, Amber’s plan, so her lawyers are looking to go back to court again with Johnny.

This thing ain’t never gonna end.

I do love Amy Schumer because she doesn’t care who she offends … even if it’s Anna “Nuclear” Wintour.

Last Spring Amy got all dolled up and headed off to the Met Gala, and is now saying that it was torture! She appeared on Howard Stern’s SiriusXM show to promote her new book and told Stern that she’s an introvert at heart. She likes hanging out with a small group of friends and hates being around famous folks, and when Howard mentioned her appearance at the Met Gala Amy spoke of the painful event.
“I left, not the second I could; I left earlier than I should have been allowed. I got to meet Beyoncé, and she was like, ‘Is this your first Met Gala?’ and I was like, ‘It’s my last.’ I should be grateful I was invited or something, but it felt like a punishment. It’s not me. We’re dressed up like a bunch of fucking assholes and I have no interest in fashion. I like the idea of coming up with a way to dress that’s more comfortable, that looks cool, that sounds good to me. But other than that, I don’t care.”
It’s funny, though, because mere seconds before Amy told Stern the story of it being her last Met Gala, Anna Wintour was scratching Amy’s name off every guest list in New York.

Friday, August 26, 2016

A Gay Couple's Home Was Vandalized, And What The Neighbors Did Next Was Shocking

Shortly after the Orlando massacre, Cari and Lauri Ryding hung a Rainbow flag outside their home as a sign of solidarity. They had  always felt welcome on Strawberry Hill Road in Natwick and so they knew that hanging the LGBTQ Pride flag was the right thing to do.

But, after returning from vacation they found that their flag had been stolen and their house and porch had been pelted with eggs. Cari said they were in shock, after having lived so peacefully in the neighborhood, but it was what happened next that really stunned the couple.

After alerting the local police, they posted questions to Facebook, asking the neighbors if anyone had seen anything; no one did and still there are no suspects. But the Ryding’s neighbors were outraged, and one neighbor, Maura Gaughan, sprang into action. She contacted the Rainbow Peace Flag Project, a local organization that gives away flags to Natick-area residents.

And on the next Sunday morning a group of neighborhood children on bicycles delivered rainbow flags to each and every house on the block; and one by one, every house was decorated with a Rainbow flag emblazoned with the word “Peace.”
“It just happened so quickly — the whole neighborhood said, ‘Get me a flag. Get me a flag. Get me a flag.’ If we can stop whatever hate is out there, I think that’s really important.” — Penni Rochwerger, a neighbor
Lauri Ryding was busy cleaning off the eggs from her porch when she spotted a Pride flag, and as she walked through the neighborhood she saw more and more; on doors and fences; flying high from a flagpole; hanging on a gate.

Lois McGillivray has lived on Strawberry Hill Road for 50 years and she was one of the first to fly the Pride flag:
“I have never met anyone who would do what that person did to that house. This is a place where nobody bothers anybody, no matter how you want to live, as long as you’re not digging up the garden and throwing the dirt in my yard.”
Neil Podolski is Jewish, and he instantly took a flag to fly in front of his home:
“It’s just not right. Who’s to say tomorrow we don’t find a swastika on our house?”
The Ryding’s, after finding their home vandalized, did what most of us might do: they thought of leaving, feeling that maybe the neighborhood wasn’t so safe. But what the neighbors did, in solidarity, “completely overshadowed that fear and we are just overwhelmed with the kindness and generosity.”

All in all, there are now forty houses on Strawberry Hill Road m and the surrounding neighborhood, flying the Pride flag in Peace.

Times do change, y’all.