Here's a brilliant idea that would make anyone proud.
Memo Fachino, 35, of Racine, Wisconsin
, was informed late last month by his homeowners association that he and his husband, Lance Mier, 36, were no longer permitted to fly their Pride flag, despite the fact that it had been displayed on their porch since 2016.
“We believe it is important to express ourselves and have visible representation
,” Fachino said via email to Stardia.
Fachino also stated that the flag has had a significant impact, citing a letter "expressing gratitude" for their flag from a neighbor who was "struggling with gender identity
" at the time.
“It gave them hope that, even if they couldn’t find the acceptance they needed in their current home, they would be able to find it in the community,” Fachino said.
In a now-viral Reddit post, Fachino explained that his HOA had decided to prohibit any flag other than the American flag from being displayed in front of homes due to other homeowners displaying Black Lives Matter
, “Thin Blue Line,” and other “opinion” flags in his neighborhood.
“The board did express that if we, or anyone for that matter, could come up with wording that would allow neighbors to fly opinion or political flags without controversy, that they were open to reviewing the rule,” Fachino told Stardia, adding, “This is, as you can imagine, not super easy, as what one considers ‘controversial’ can be quite subjective.”
Fachino stated that he has no ill will toward his HOA and does not feel “targeted or attacked” by the board, but the couple found it disappointing that they had to remove their flag just before Pride month
“We wanted a Pride display for June, and we also wanted to follow the rules,” Fachino explained, “so we found a way to do both.”
Fachino said he and Mier had a lightbulb moment a few days after taking down their Pride flag.
They reviewed their HOA's new rules and discovered that "removable lights are permitted without restriction."
So Fachino and Mier bought six different colored floodlights and "washed our house
in Pride colors."
“A little less subtle than our simple flag,” Fachino commented on Reddit, “but a lot more fun for anyone complaining about the flag itself and what it represents.”
Fachino told Stardia that the lights were "joyous, didn't hit any other homes... and allowed us to be more expressive on our stand."
He also stated that the lights are popular with his neighbors.
“A neighbor shared the story on our Facebook
page, and all of the comments we received were positive and supportive,” he explained to Stardia.
Fachino also stated that he and Mier "love" their neighborhood — where they've lived for about five years — and are "fortunate" to be able to display their Pride lights "safely."
“We are proud to be able to do this,” Fachino told Stardia, adding, “We recognize this privilege, and we believe that diversity
and self-expression enrich the neighborhood and make it a more inclusive place to live.”