An anonymous, young LGBTQ+ person in Arkansas warmed hearts across the country with a simple note thanking an ally for flying a Pride flag in their small rural town.
Stephanie Robertson, 52, received a Progress Pride flag from her 30-year-old son, Levi, as a gift last year. Levi told Pink News his mother proudly flew the flag outside her home for Pride month this year. Pride flags are not common in the small rural town of Paris, located in northwestern Arkansas between Ozark and Booneville and with a population of roughly 3,500, so Richardson was totally unprepared for the crumpled up note left in her mailbox by a young neighbor.
“Hello,” the note began, obviously written by a child’s hand. “This is probably kinda weird but I walk past your house every day and I’ve noticed your flag and I’m glad to know there is at least one ally in this little town.”
The note was signed “from a young LGBTQ+ person.”
Levi first learned of the note when his mother texted him over the 4th of July weekend saying “you’re not gonna believe the letter” she found in her mailbox.
“I immediately called her and told her how profound and awesome it was that her hanging it made a child feel seen,” Levi continued. “She agreed and kept saying how she couldn’t get over how sweet it was.”
The story has since gone viral on social media, with plenty of folks wiping away tears while tweeting.
One person said it would have “meant the entire world” to her to have seen a Pride flag in her small town near Paris when she was growing up.
Levi described his mother as “an incredible person” who is “completely deserving of all the attention” she has received. Logan says his mom raised him and his two brothers while married to a member of the military. Richardson has lived in Paris since 2014, and now works with the U.S. Forest Service at Ozark St. Francis National Forest.
Richardson is not the only ally to recently fly a Pride flag in a conservative town. Last month in Owasso, Oklahoma, John Wyatt helped his gay teenaged son fly a Pride flag outside their home. Wyatt said he flew the flag to support his son, Caden, who had come out less than a year ago.
“We’re letting people know it’s a safe place,” Wyatt said at the time. “I’m not trying to cause any controversy in the neighborhood, but maybe there’s some person out there who will see that flag and smile and feel safe.”
“I’m really lucky to have such supportive parents because I know a lot of other people aren’t as lucky as me,” Caden added.
While she loves the attention she has received from the 750,000+ likes (and counting) to the note, it’s the response from one anonymous LGBTQ+ child in her neighborhood that touched Richardson the most. The entire story has so inspired her, Levi said she has decided to stay a proud and visible ally in her town throughout the year.
“She’s going to find a Progress Pride flag window sticker for the front of her house to keep up all year!” Levi proudly revealed.