When that intolerant neighbor managed to get this man’s Pride flag removed from his own front yard, he probably rejoiced in his petty, miserable victory.
Little did he know that his neighbor had a trick up his sleeve. He patiently waited and prepared for weeks; but in the end, he got his payback into effect, and it worked just as planned.
It’s sad when bigotry finds support in the establishment and the powers that be. And it’s sad when it uses this support to crush and repress those who are different from what is considered the norm.
That’s what the neighbor of the man who protagonizes this story tried to do. But unfortunately for him and happily for others, things ended up not going his way.
This story was first shared on Reddit by the user memom17, who we shall refer to as Jake for clarity purposes, even though he prefers to remain anonymous.
Millions of users have already read it, upvoted it, commented on it, and shared it. People are celebrating and raving about how Jake owned his bigoted neighbor.
Jake is a single gay man who has never been ashamed of his identity, and rightfully so. In 2022, you would think that the sexual orientation of your neighbors, or their openness about it, is no longer an issue.
But unfortunately, it still isn’t that way in many neighborhoods of America. And this story was the prime example of that.
So this is how it went down: in Jake’s neighborhood, it wasn’t unusual to see flags representing various ideological causes flying in the neighbor’s front yards.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with that. Everyone has the right to express themselves, and more so if they choose to do it within the limits of their own homes, right? Well, that can get a bit complicated sometimes.
Aside from the usual national flags, some neighbors had chosen flags for different causes to fly in front of their houses: some had flags supporting the Black Lives Matter, some had the “thin blue line” flags associated with the Blue Lives Matter movement in support of policemen.
And Jake, of course, had chosen the flag that he felt the most represented by: the LGBT flag. And for years, he never had any problem with it until one day.
One day, coming back from holiday, Jake noticed that all the political flags had disappeared from everyone’s houses in the neighborhood. Why could that be?
He didn’t give it much thought. He thought there might have been some discord between neighbors about the recent BLM protests, but that was none of his business. So he just went on with his life. However, one day he received an unpleasant surprise from one of his neighbors.
One day he woke up and, as he had breakfast, he noticed something. There was a man in his front yard! But what was he doing there? What was he up to?
Still wearing his robe and slippers and with a mug of coffee in his hand, he went out to see what was the matter.
His neighbor was trying to remove his Pride flag from the front yard! But why was he doing that? Jake asked him about it, and the neighbor’s response was baffling.
He said that the local HOA had banned all the neighbors from displaying any flags other than the national one in their front yards. So now he was enforcing the new rules on his own and removing Jake’s flag. And what did Jake respond to that?
Well, there was nothing he could do about it. After all, the rules are the rules. But something rubbed him off in the wrong way about the whole situation.
It almost seemed like this neighbor had a personal beef with him and his flag. Why would he try to remove it by himself instead of just politely letting him know about the new regulations? Jake felt quite outraged by this. But he would come up with a solution.
It didn’t seem right that he was being forced to remove his flag. At the end of the day, it was his own home. And nobody had no business feeling offended by him being open about his sexual orientation.
It wasn’t like he was expressing a political opinion that someone might oppose: that was just his identity. But he had a plan to keep expressing himself without bending the rules.
“I bought 6 colored floodlights, and we washed our house in pride colors,” he narrates in the Reddit post in which he tells his story.
“A little less subtle than my simple flag. A lot more fun for anyone complaining about the flag itself and what it represents.” But what would Jake’s neighbors think of it?
Even if they were bothered with it, there was nothing they could say: after all, Jake wasn’t breaking any rules. Aside from flags, the HOA hadn’t said anything about other types of outside decoration.
So Jake could just display the colorful lighting in his front yard to express himself and embellish the street view. But when he shared his story, there were mixed reactions to it.
“Imagine BUYING A HOUSE and yet you still can’t do what you want on your property… I could never live in a place that has a HOA. Never,” said one Reddit user. “Your HOA wasn’t in the wrong here. If no other flag except the USA flag was allowed then why would a pride flag be too?” said another one.
A more temperate user commented, “I don’t share your enthusiasm for ‘pride’ but will gladly put that aside and celebrate your amazing cleverness and pretty house! Well done.”
So while the flag banning from the HOA might be quite questionable, one cannot deny Jake’s solution’s wit and aesthetic qualities.
What do you think about the whole story? Are HOA regulations of this sort justified, or are they dumb? Do you think Jake’s neighbor had some personal animosity towards him and his flag or was he just making sure everyone followed the rules?