Rainbow flags symbolizing LGBTQ pride outside storefronts are a welcoming sign and serve as reminders that we have allies in a world that oftentimes lets us down.
One couple waved a banner with pride outside of their home but had no idea of its rippling effect for positive change in their community.
On June 19, Sal Stow discovered a handwritten note outside of her partner Meghan Stabler's home in Williamson County, Texas, while retrieving two packages.
The heartwarming message appeared to be the penmanship of an inspired adolescent, prompting Stow to express why "visibility is SO important."
"Hello, you don't know me but my name is [redacted]. We're moving away today but I wanted to thank you."
"Seeing a Pride flag waving so proudly outside your home every day has given me the courage to come out to my family and be more comfortable with who I am."
In her Facebook post, Stow reminded followers "you never know who needs the support and to know it's ok."
"I hope this person is ok, their family is being supportive and they find a community to connect with that can help them through this brave process."
According to Stow, Williamson County recently voted against pride flags being flown outside of businesses.
But she refuses to allow the conservative neighborhood to prevent her from being "visible in whatever way I can."
"Williamson County is extremely conservative and in fact, the County Commissioners voted 4-0 to not allow the pride flag to be flown on the Round Rock county court buildings. I am proud of who I am and the person I love. I will continue to be visible in whatever way I can."
The love overflowed in the comments section.
Stow wrote Mashable an email about her emotional response upon reading the special message.
"Initially I thought it was a note from a local vendor, so when I opened it, I was speechless and tears started to flow. To find a note expressing thanks to us for the simple act of flying the Pride flag was very humbling."
"My next thought was, I hope they are OK, that their family is being supportive, and that they have the support that they need."
"Coming out takes a lot of courage, as you don't know how your family will respond. Meghan and I have had our own experiences, and that is why we both live out and proud all year round."
Despite Williamson County's anti-LGBTQ stance, Stow learned personal connections in her community are important and LGBTQIA+ pride should not be restricted to a one month celebration out of the year.
"It's not an easy county for the LGBTQIA+ community to live in, but one thing that we have found to help is by making personal connections with neighbors."
"Our hope from sharing this story is that more people begin to understand that the importance of visibility in and for the LGBTQIA+ [community] is not just during Pride month, but needs to be all year round, especially given the current climate."
For many LGBTQ people, coming out is one of the toughest challenges in life. It's like taking a leap in the dark.
But knowing there are people who are accepting and loving, ready to catch you when you fall, is a huge reassurance.
Wave those rainbow banners high. Happy Pride!
You can spruce up your house or your whole neighborhood for less than $12 and get a 50 Pack of Rainbow Gay Pride, Transgender Pride, Bisexual Pride and Pansexual Pride mini Flags, available here.