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Ask Curbed SF: Outed in the Castro

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Ask Curbed SF turns over readers' questions to the comment box. We will solve your problems, people— just send 'em along to the Curbed Inbox.

Now isn't this a delicate one? Paging all lawyers ...

Hi Curbed...I have a strange situation at my apartment and was hoping someone out there might be able to help. I live in a rental building in the Castro. Big surprise, I'm gay. Open and out, except to my parents who live in the deep south. Here's the landlord has decided my building needs a mural -- a "gay pride legacy" mural, including rainbow flags, bears holding hands, yellow brick road etc. All the standards. I don't identify with much of that stuff, and I find it kind of insulting to have those images attached to me...fine if others like those things, I don't. And I feel like it's embarrassing to have it all over the front of my building. Do I have any rights as a renter to have this mural removed from the front of my building? Does a right to privacy protect those who live in a building from having their lifestyle broadcast? As an example, would it be OK for a landlord to paint a Star of David on a building populated by Jews? If someone's looking to do some gay bashing in the neighborhood, I feel like this mural exposes the residents to it. Is this sort of thing OK? I understand a building owner can make aesthetic changes to a building, but can they make changes that also convey a sociopolitical message that the residents may not want to be affiliated with?

Any thoughts? Am I screwed?