LGBTQ flag 2

Jessica VanDerslice and David Zavala stand with their LGBTQ flag Friday at their home in Rogue River. 

A Rogue River woman who lost a home in the Almeda Fire was confronted by a local business owner last week for flying an LGBTQ pride flag on their own property.

In the late afternoon of Wednesday, May 17, Jessica VanDerslice (who prefers the pronoun “they”) had their front door open, enjoying the weather, when their preteen son said a man — later identified as Charles Messimer, the owner of Wood Chuck Tree Werks in Rogue River — was walking up the drive.

Erick Bengel covers social issues and health care. Reach him at or 458-488-2031.

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(6) comments


Kind of sad that in 2023 there are still intolerant and ignorant people living in plain site. I read somewhere that David was asked to run for local office. Please do as this town needs fresh air. We will definitely support you!


I would love to see a few dozen flags or symbols -or more! - flying in Rogue River today.


Jessica and David, just know that the larger Jackson County supports you and your bravery for wanting to stay in a community that has shown itself so many times to be a home of racism and bigotry. You are welcomed and cherished.


How could someone flying a flag of any color or symbol (aside from a swastika) affect someone else? Unless you're instigating some action, it's just wavin' in the wind. If you don't like it, don't look at it. Better yet, appreciate our diverse culture, and our freedom to showcase it.


You logically contradicted your own point. "Not-sees" are part of "our diverse culture" like it or not. Haha I couldn't even write the real word I meant due to censorship.


Jessica and David, Thank you for supporting our community. Since I moved to SO Oregon I have never felt safe. My wife is harassed driving down the street and we do not advertise because of safety issues here. So I say thanks you again for being stronger than I am and showing your support.

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