An appreciated public gesture | Letter

This is in response to “Art planned for Overlake Village to celebrate tech, LGBTQ+ community” (Reporter, Oct. 18).

I appreciate what Redmond City Councilmember Tanika Padhye had to say about the larger community embracing the LGBTQ community, especially in the light of her fellow councilmember’s insinuation that publicly affirming the LGBTQ community is somehow unfair to other communities.

As an LGBTQ individual, specifically a non-binary person with gender non-conforming expression, I was threatened with violence by a group of youth while walking through a public space in Kirkland years ago. The aggression was completely unprovoked. I did not have prior interaction with those who threatened me. I was simply walking by. Other LGBTQ people had told me of similar experiences on the Eastside.

Granted, those incidents happened many years ago. But given the recent incidents such as harassment of LGBTQ individuals on Capitol Hill, and vandalism targeting LGBTQ symbols in the greater Seattle area, including an explosion at a Renton church during Pride Month, I think it is too early to assume that LGBTQ people enjoy a degree of safety equal to that enjoyed by the larger community.

So I appreciate that the city of Redmond is making a public gesture to signal that the city should be a safe space for one of its more socially vulnerable groups, because uplifting those targeted by bigotry uplifts the community at large.

Jacke Lowe