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After a female couple had a rainbow flag stolen at their home, neighbors in their Chicago neighborhood responded by flying their own Pride flags, and even incorporating it into Christmas displays.
"The fact that this story might make someone smile, maybe it's not so bad, and maybe the hate we see so much is not the mass of people but individuals," theft victim Casey Handal told the Chicago Tribune.
During a gingerbread decorating party at her home earlier this month, Handal discovered somebody had stolen the Pride flag flying on a pole in their backyard and had replaced it with the American flag.
The swap added insult to the act. "The message was quite clear," she said. "It was sort of the intolerant view vs. the inclusive liberal view. I think if somebody would have just taken the flag and not replaced it with anything, that wouldn't necessarily have sent quite the same message. It's more premeditated this way."
But after word spread on social media about the theft, dozens of residents in the Fox Point neighborhood made a group order for decorations and displayed rainbow flag iconography, whether in holiday decorations, on mailboxes, or near their homes. A Secret Santa holiday drive was also set up for the family.
Handal and fiancee Zadette Rosadohave moved to the neighborhood with their two children in May.
Some neighbors report even politically conservative homeowners in the region participated in the gift drive. "They've come together," said Fox Point Homeowners Association social chair Stephanie Paine. "Everyone wanted to do their best to make this right."