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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

A Woman's PERFECT Response to Her Anti-Gay Neighbors

Posted by on Dec. 28, 2013 at 12:09 PM
  • 86 Replies
12 moms liked this


Well here's a heartwarming day-after-Christmas story.

Dr. Mary Pham, a resident of Irvine, California, decided last April to show her support for the LGBT community by raising a rainbow flag. Not a big deal--just a small, but strong, message that she stands on the side of love and equality. But it was a big deal to her anti-gay neighbors who had no problem hanging American or seasonal flags but did not think the neighborhood had any place for an affirmation of LGBT acceptance.

From an OC Weekly article on the controversy:

Pham's not a complete stranger to the spotlight. A Vietnamese American chiropractic doctor who came to the United States following the fall of Saigon, Pham has three (mostly) adult children and used to host a daytime talk-radio program on KUCI-FM 88.9 that attempted to shatter stereotypes about living behind the Orange Curtain. In a June 2012 edition of her show, Pham said that, though she often does not speak highly of Irvine, it was ultimately "a pretty good place to live."

She first flew the flag following a ceremony with friends in June. "It took me a long time to find my flag to hang, so when I did, [my friend] Ramon and I decided that we should do a fun ceremonial event," she says. "Most of my friends here in Orange County rent rooms, so they do not have the luxury of hanging anything. . . . We all decided that [my flag] was pride for all of us—that's why it was a big event. We invited all of our friends of all colors to come to share."

The flag prominently hung from one of the tallest structures in Orangetree. It immediately drew attention, with initial complaints first directed to the neighborhood's property-management company, PowerStone Property Management.

And her friend did warn her:

Not in Irvine, Mary.

Her friend accurately predicted the neighborhood response. In July, Pham was told that many e-mail complaints had been sent to her Home Owners Association. One such e-mail referred to the flag as the "Fag Flag." Lovely. This particular peach of an individual went on to say:

Is the GAY PRIDE [in large font and rainbow colors] display protected by free speech rights? The Orange Tree Patio Homes neighbors are shaking their heads in disgust. Sexuality is private, and Kurt's display is very, very public. It's even visible from the tennis courts.

From the tennis courts, even!

Another e-mail lamented:

[The residents]...have had their 'gay pride' flag up for six to eight weeks. The flag has two wedding rings interlocked and many rainbow-colored stripes. It is an eyesore. In my opinion, it is okay to feel strongely [sic] about a cause. But to leave their 'political statement' up for this long is ridiculous, and I am offended. Most people do not choose the gay lifestyle, and personally, it irritates me to have to be reminded every day of two men having sex with each other. It's not a fun thing to look at as I come and go every day. If someone left their sign up regarding an election for more than a week or two, it would get very old and be an eyesore.

Community manager Amanda McGinley replied to one of the e-mails:

We have not had any calls yet about the flag on the home...But I did see it on the property inspection and contacted legal counsel to see if the HOA can do anything about it. Civil Code does provide protection for homeowners to put up flags, banners and noncommercial signs, and the Association can do nothing to prohibit it. I have a feeling that this will not last long, but I could be wrong.

Pham continued to fly the flag. But she understandably became more nervous about it. Upon the advice of the executive director of her local LGBT center, Pham filed a police report, just in case. Then, the neighbor reactions became more hostile. A Westboro Baptist Church flyer was printed out and left at her door, and a flyer was left on her windshield that said "GOD HATES FLAGS."

Pham's resolve became all the more hardened:

Before, it was just a flag. Now, I’m going to fight back.

And fight back she did this Christmas. After discussing the matter with her son Russell, Pham decided to take her display of support for the LGBT community to the next level. Perhaps that's an understatement.

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by on Dec. 28, 2013 at 12:09 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Goodwoman614
by Satan on Dec. 28, 2013 at 12:10 PM
4 moms liked this

(Continued from OP)

It was a very gay Christmas in Pham's Irvine neighborhood. And there wasn't a damn thing her bigoted neighbors could do about it.

Goodwoman614
by Satan on Dec. 28, 2013 at 1:07 PM

BUMP!

yourspecialkid
by Platinum Member on Dec. 28, 2013 at 1:30 PM

 So.  This is free speech and doesn't violate her HOA.  If the people of the neighborhood don't like it they can amend their HOA by-laws.

On the other hand...why would you not try to get along with your neighbors?   

AlekD
by Gold Member on Dec. 28, 2013 at 1:33 PM
2 moms liked this
Slow news day.
Whatthe172
by on Dec. 28, 2013 at 1:40 PM
1 mom liked this

Sounds like it was posted by Pham herself.  I don't believe the part about the Baptist Church though.

jllcali
by on Dec. 28, 2013 at 1:43 PM
2 moms liked this
Sounds like her neighbors were trying to not to get along with her.

Quoting yourspecialkid:

 So.  This is free speech and doesn't violate her HOA.  If the people of the neighborhood don't like it they can amend their HOA by-laws.


On the other hand...why would you not try to get along with your neighbors?   

Whatthe172
by on Dec. 28, 2013 at 1:53 PM
2 moms liked this

Sounds like she isn't either.  Look at me world!  Communication is the best way to bring people together.  Talk with people, find out why they think they way they do.  Shoving it in someone's face isn't going to change minds. 

Quoting jllcali: Sounds like her neighbors were trying to not to get along with her.

Quoting yourspecialkid:

 So.  This is free speech and doesn't violate her HOA.  If the people of the neighborhood don't like it they can amend their HOA by-laws.


On the other hand...why would you not try to get along with your neighbors?   


GLWerth
by Gina on Dec. 28, 2013 at 2:00 PM
9 moms liked this

Good statement, but aside from that, it looks really pretty and different from the usual plastic or giant blow up decorations we see this time of year.

As for the neighbors, I don't see how a rainbow with intertwined wedding rings makes you think of men having sex, unless you think of that often anyway.

TranquilMind
by Platinum Member on Dec. 28, 2013 at 2:10 PM
3 moms liked this

 Whatever.  She wanted to make her political statement beyond patriotism,  "Merry Christmas" or even "Happy Holidays". 

So she did.  And they called her on it.  She's be the first complaining if they put a flag out - not that there is one, but pretend - that signified "Traditional Marriage". THEN she would be justified in sharing her opposing view. 

So the whole article makes no sense. 

jllcali
by on Dec. 28, 2013 at 2:17 PM
1 mom liked this
They tried to get her flag removed. I like her light display because I think rainbows are pretty. I find it much less tacky than a lot of holiday light displays I have seen. As far as her motivation behind it, I don't find it much different than the people who have the "fuck you I'm gonna put up as many lights as I want to" mentality.

Quoting Whatthe172:

Sounds like she isn't either.  Look at me world!  Communication is the best way to bring people together.  Talk with people, find out why they think they way they do.  Shoving it in someone's face isn't going to change minds. 

Quoting jllcali: Sounds like her neighbors were trying to not to get along with her.



Quoting yourspecialkid:

 So.  This is free speech and doesn't violate her HOA.  If the people of the neighborhood don't like it they can amend their HOA by-laws.



On the other hand...why would you not try to get along with your neighbors?   


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