Community reacts to Pride banners burned in The Grove

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ST. LOUIS – Two pride banners were burned outside a bar in the Grove.

Patrons and staff noticed smoke in the alley behind Rehab Bar and Grill on Monday night.

Some believe its just the latest attack on the LGBTQA community.

“People are people. Do you want people treating you like this? If you don’t, don’t treat them like this,” says Wilson Buck.

That night two similar banners went missing from Kirkwood United Church of Christ. They read “God is still speaking”. It was meant to be a sign of welcome for all.

“Not just the gay community but the community as a whole needs to stand up to this injustice and this hate. This the appropriate time with it being pride month for everyone to do that,” says Frank Siano.

This incident comes two weeks after an intoxicated man began yelling anti-LGBTQA remarks outside a Soulard home that has pride flag colors painted on the porch and he tried to kick in the door according to our partners at the Post-Dispatch.

“Usually if you live outside of that boundary and you’re very visible about it you’re putting yourself out there in a way that you’re making yourself potentially a target,” explains Wilson.

Now some in LGBTQA community are organizing self-defense classes.

Wilson says, “Being able to be at least a little confident in taking care of yourself and getting yourself out of a situation if something were to happen is really important.”

At the Tower Grove Pride Fest on June 29.

Bi Visibility STL is offering self-defense classes at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

The fest is also a chance to bring the entire community together so we can learn from one and other.

“It’s education, it’s communication, it’s getting to know each other,” says Siano.

If you have any information on this incident please contact Saint Louis Police.

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