Displaying the rainbow flag has always been great way to tell people you’re gay without telling them you’re gay. Unlike my personal practice of sharpie-ing “QUEER AF” across my abdomen and never wearing a whole shirt, it’s modest and tasteful. Unfortunately, it’s not an option for everyone. A homeowner’s association in a Wisconsin community recently banned residents from flying anything but the American flag. Before you get your rainbow-striped panties in a bunch, the situation actually isn’t as totally evil as it sounds. The rule did, however, inspire a creative workaround — when this couple wasn’t allowed to fly their Pride flag, they used lights to turn the front of their home into a rainbow flag.
This whole debacle actually started last month, when the homeowners association (HOA) in Racine, Wisconsin voted that residents could no longer fly “opinion flags” — a.k.a. any flag but the American flag. While it is obviously an inherently problematic rule, it did prevent people in the neighborhood from flying any offensive MAGA propaganda.
Unfortunately, it also meant that families weren’t permitted to fly Pride flags. When Memo Fachino and his husband, Lance Mier, put the same rainbow flag they’ve posted every June for the past five years, the association asked them to take it down, CNN reported.
But we queers are nothing if not innovative in the ways we rebel, so Fachino and Mier were undeterred. They wanted to respect the HOA rules, they also wanted to show their true colors. So, in classic more is more gay fashion, they bought bright rainbow floodlights and proudly lit up their entire house. Picture this: By day, Fachino and Mier’s home is a charming, well-groomed suburban ranch. By night, it is a beacon of big gay hope and resilience. Best of all, their chromatic display doesn’t violate any of the HOA rules.
The floodlights are “a little less subtle than our simple flag,” Fachino told CBS, but added that they’re also, “a lot more fun for anyone complaining about the flag itself and what it represents." Fachino wrote on Reddit that representing acceptance and diversity was important to Mier and him, and that in the past people had thanked them for flying their Pride flag. “It was just a simple gesture of inclusiveness, diversity, and representation and that was our main goal," Fachino said.
The Reddit thread where Fachino posted a pic of their lit up home has garnered over 6,000 comments — mostly people complaining about the ridiculous rules of their own HOAs. When Fachino was asked by a commenter why he didn’t protest the flag ban, he said that he didn’t want people to be permitted to fly racist emblems. "Simple representation and diversity is important to us," Fachino told CNN. Rules be damned, gay love will always find a way.