A suburban Illinois couple got the best gift they could have imagined this holiday season: a neighborhood filled with rainbows after their LGBT pride flag was stolen, according to KTLA sister station WGN.
Casey Handel and Zadette Rosado just moved into Barrington, northwest of Chicago, last May with their two daughters. They flew their rainbow flag behind their home. Two weeks ago, someone snuck into their yard and took it down and replaced it with a United States flag, the station reported.
"We were pretty devastated as far as, who would do this? Why would they do it?" Handel said.
The couple said the incident was chilling, but then something wonderful happened.
Word got around the neighborhood and it was more than one of their neighbors, Kim Filian, could bear. She didn’t really know the couple but she planted a pride flag on her lawn in solidarity. Then she ordered more, then other neighbors kept asking for them. Now they are everywhere around their neighborhood.
“Frankly, I’ve grown weary of this, of all this hate,” Filian said. “And I got to say, it just seemed like there was one thing that I could do that I had control of."
“For me, whenever there’s a bad situation, I always remember there’s a silver lining, and this was our silver lining,” Rosado said.
After that, gifts started randomly showing up, and people started dropping by. It was an amazing lesson in the goodness of humanity for the couple’s two children.
“We said look at what all the good people are doing, look at all the nice people in the world. For every bad person, there’s 100 nice people, and it is a really good lesson for them, and for all the children in the neighborhood, to see that there’s good in this world and it always outweighs the bad,” Handel said.
The couple has had quite a year. Handel beat cancer and the two are getting married at the end of the month. And now they’re getting to know the neighbors, just in time for Christmas.