Confrontation over LGBTQ pride flag in Rogue River

ROGUE RIVER, Ore.– Jessica VanDerslice moved to Rogue River two years ago after losing their home in the Almeda Fire.

They say this is the first time anyone has had an issue with them displaying an LGBTQ flag and it’s been up the entire two years they have lived there.

VanDerslice was sitting at home in Rogue River when their son noticed someone approaching their front door.

VanDerslice said as soon as they stepped outside, he confronted them about the LGBTQ flag outside their home.

He said, “What makes you guys think it’s right to fly that flag in a conservative town?”

VanDerslice said they asked the man to leave their property.

They said, “Can you please get off my property before I call the police?”

He replied, “Call them all you want, it’s not acceptable anymore.”

They started recording the man as he left the property.

VanDerslice said they asked the man why the flag isn’t acceptable.

They said he called the flag “a disgusting agenda” and told them to get out of Rogue River before he left.

VanDerslice said, “I’m from the Midwest and I was openly gay in the Midwest and I was never approached with the level of hate this man clearly had for me.”

VanDerslice said they posted video of the interaction on a Rogue River community page looking to identify the man, but it was not well received.

“Instead of finding community people helping me identify him,” VanDerslice said, “I was being attacked online and being told I was a weak liberal and a snowflake and that if I’m going to fly a controversial flag then I should be willing to deal with the fallout from that.”

VanDerslice said they also posted the video on TikTok, where the video has been seen hundreds of thousands of times.

The video was also shared by accounts with millions of followers, who helped identify the man.

VanDerslice said, “Having the video go out to a much larger community who just poured love and support on me and my family, it was a beautiful thing, it was very touching, and it made me feel less alone.”

VanDerslice says once the man was identified, police can cite him for trespassing on their property.

They said the incident has left them with mixed feelings about living in Rogue River, but they don’t plan on leaving.

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Former NBC5 News reporter Derek Strom is from Renton, Washington. He recently graduated from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University with a degree in Broadcast News and a minor in Sports Management. He played in the drumline with the WSU marching band. These days, he plays the guitar and piano. Derek is a devoted fan of the Mariners, Seahawks, and Kraken.
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