Mere Larceny or Act Against the LGBTQ Community and Allies?
Pride Flag Stolen from Gallery Exhibit Featuring Homoerotic Themes
For Immediate Release – 23 June 2016
Buffalo, NY–The ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art in Buffalo’s Allentown neighborhood had a rainbow pride flag stolen last Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.
“While this may seem like ‘insignificant larceny’, we are taking this act very seriously,” said Orin Langelle, Gallery Director. “After the acts of violence in Orlando and the long history of repression against the LGBTQ community, we cannot take it lightly.” He added, “We will most likely never know if this was a deliberate act of hate, a warning to the LBGTQ community or our gallery, or just a senseless theft, but we think it is important that the public is aware.”
In honor of the 2016 Pride month and the 25th anniversary of Buffalo’s first public Pride celebration, the gallery had been flying the rainbow flag outside of the building since the beginning of June. The ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery’s exhibit for Pride month is SOULJA: Peace and Love Warriors featuring New York City artist Cassandra. The show runs through July 29th.
About the theft, Cassandra said, “Defending the freedom to love and the love of freedom is more urgent than ever. No one is on the sidelines.”
Following the June 12th shooting in Orlando, a large 3’ x 5’ print of “Freedom to Love” was displayed in the gallery’s front window along with the following statement of solidarity with the victims of the shooting:
The !Buen Vivir! Gallery stands in solidarity with the LGBTQ community and with all victims of senseless violence and hate.
This is about liberation, it’s about struggle, it’s about love.
The police responded yesterday to the call from the gallery and filed a report calling the offense “petit larceny.”
Contact: Carolyn Lansom, Gallery Manager, +1.716.931.5833 firstname.lastname@example.org