A few days ago, I posted a link to the story of the Lakeway Hotel in Meade, KS where the owners are proudly flying the rainbow flag. This morning I received this thank you email. Let's all try to find ways to show these folks our apprecation and gratitude for their courage and convictions. Email text follows --
Robin & I can¹t even begin to come up with words strong enough to convey our appreciation for all of your support and well wishes. Especially to those of you that have booked rooms and even just sent money to help pay our bills. Your the best.
We are getting so many emails every day that we barely have time to read them let alone respond to each of them in a timely manner. So I thought I¹d send out this Big thanks to everyone and then do individuals as time permits.
First of all, reading your letters at the end of a long day makes it allot easier getting up the next day. So a BIG thanks for that!!!
As you know our rainbow flag was hung outside of our hotel because we dearly miss our son. It signified to us that he is just over the rainbow and as soon as we can we will all be together again. When my good neighbors told me to take it down, I assure you there was no hesitation. It will not come down. Last night, July 30, 2006 some "person" cut it down, well most of it anyway. Robin & I want you all to know that as soon as we can get a replacement here, the rainbow will proudly fly again.
My son¹s Rainbow flag is gone, cut by the very closed minded bigots that we sent him home to get away from. Our new Rainbow flag will serve a different purpose, it will stand for the very thing that THEY (the schalooses) wanted it to stand for. Gay Rights, Gay Pride, Human Rights, Equality of the Sexes,Equality of the Races, Diversity, Unity, Peace, The International Co-operative Alliance's, The Inca banner, The Flag of Cusco, Peru, The Wizard of OZ, God¹s Gift to Mankind, and everything else that the homophobic, bigoted, ignorant ... people of the world fear.
Our new Rainbow flag will fly as a reminder to my son, never to back down to prejudice and tyranny no matter the cost, because once you do it will never stop. Money and business is one thing but peoples dignity is much more important.
Before we bought the Lakeway Hotel a gay couple looked at it and the same good christians that want my son's rainbow flag down told the bank, "If you sell to those gays, we'll all pull our accounts." They'll never be happy, and their hunger for control will never subside. Never!!! They change scripture to suit their purpose. They are spreading ignorance and bigotry one child at a time. Not my son.
Our new Rainbow flag will wave :
At our friends that never made it to their 30th birthdays, Jim, John, Jimmy, and Richard.
At the group I counseled in High School who I vowed I would never reveal their names or what we talked about.
To my 7th and 8th grade teacher who taught me that gay people are just people, and who the kids that called him a fagot behind his back eventually named as their favorite teacher of all.
To the two retired teachers Ruth and Madge who still reside in this old brick Hotel, playing jokes and helping me see, I don¹t know if they were really a couple, but if they were, good for them.
To the gay and lesbian people of Meade and elsewhere, hiding in closets and garages, letting you know that someday you¹ll just be able to be you.
To all of the people traveling on hwy 54 who are afraid to stop in these hick towns because they don¹t think they¹ll be accepted or worse.
To Shawn and all the other people in the world that had the terrifying and heart wrenching task of telling their parents that they are Gay or Lesbian.
To Shawn¹s dad, my good bud Robert, who although probably didn¹t want this for his son, hugged him, loves him and is very proud of him. I wish all parents were like him.
But most importantly our new Rainbow flag will wave in the face of Hatred, Bigotry, Ignorance and the people who embody these traits as a constant reminder that they can¹t control everyone or every thing. That god loves every one the same. And that hate is a much bigger sin, than 2 people loving each other ever could be.
George Washington once said that the thing that separates the American People from all other people of the world is that we will die on our feet before we will ever live on our knees.
I think it¹s time that we get up off our knees and stand together for what¹s right. Even if we are a bit squeamish about what the right thing is.
We might not be able to fix stupid,but it sure is fun taking it apart!!!!;)
A BIG Thanks Again to All -- we¹ll remember you, long after you forget us
JR & Robin Knight
Lakeway Hotel - Bed and Breakfast Inn
115 N. Fowler, Meade, Kansas 67864
PO BOX 1029, Meade, Kansas 67864-1029
[Phone Numbers Deleted for Blog Publication - Nick}
lakewayhotel.com - firstname.lastname@example.org