Who could be bothered to debate the merits of adding two additional colors to the rainbow flag, a symbol of pride for members of the LGBTQ community Evidently, quite a few folks across Al Gore’s internet who meet one of the following descriptors: bored out of their minds; insensitive to the plight of even more marginalized groups of people;
Trump 45 supporters.
I’ve never really identified with the rainbow flag that much because I am more of a black-power-fist kind of bitch; hence, it doesn’t really fit with my aesthetic. That’s no shade to San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker, who unveiled the flag in 1978 before it went through a few revisions and then stopped as the symbol that only now is being revised in a single city.
That said, when I’m out at a Pride-related function, I’ll wave that lil’ flag or even dawn rainbow-flag-related attire because ultimately, it’s about community. It’s not just about me; it’s about all of us. That means my own petty grievances mean nothing. Sadly, most people aren’t as selfless as I am. Pity, pity.
Earlier this month, the city of Philadelphia unveiled a revised version of the Pride flag that included black and brown stripes sitting atop the rainbow colors.
As many of us in the LGBTQ
-SWV community have long known, simply sharing a difference from heteronormativity and/or the rigid gender binary does not make us all one big happy family. Shoutout to the white boys who say, “It’s just my preference that you’re too dark for my pink penis to be aroused,” and those white men who curiously try to keep us black folks out of their spots. That would include Darryl DePiano, the owner of a popular gay bar in Philly who was caught using the word “nigger” in a comments section about discrimination “the blacks” face in the city’s section known as “Gayborhood.” (DePiano apologized, blah-blah.)
Obviously, the black and brown stripes were added to the flag in the wake of instances like these. In an interview about the flag, Amber Hikes, Philadelphia’s director of the Office of LGBT Affairs, said that the new flag “instills so much pride in me as a queer black woman.” Hikes also told CNN that other major cities—Miami, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago—have reached out to “express their appreciation for the added level of visibility.”
Now cue the raging white folks. Since I went to a hood-ass high school and the Mecca that is Howard University, my Facebook feed includes only a few white folks I have met through my work. I say that to explain why I’m only now realizing that adding some more color to the flag has caused a tizzy.
Normally I like to avoid the fourth circle of hell known as the internet comments section, but I took a gander at the comments left under the Towleroad post about this flag.
Some of the greatest hits:
You know, every time I see a black woman involved in anything where they accuse gays of being racist (because obviously lesbians, bisexuals and trans folks aren’t) they always identify as queer. Not as lesbian, not as bisexual. It’s almost like they’re claiming to belong, without actually claiming an identity. It always makes me feel like I’m being lied to.
Or he’s never heard of queer theory, but OK.
Very sad... even Ms Hicks comments cause discrimination.
““When I see the flag,” she added, “I see myself.”
Ms. Hicks job is to serve the entire LGBT Community in Philly. She has decided that she only sees brown and black, and is doing her best to wipe out white, red, yellow and all the other colors in humanity.
Can I borrow a mop to wipe these “I don’t see color” tears?
Im sure the idea is nice, but does everything has to be about race? WE as LGBT Community have bigger problems: drugs, hate towards us, and so forth. Don’t always talk about race, tbh it gets annoying.
Why do coloreds have to talk about your doggone color even though you just explained to me that your color has some of those folks in the LGBTQ community excluding you?
I’ve since seen some of the Facebook rants about it. Betcha by golly wow, do y’all need to learn to unfollow or unfriend folks more often.
That said, I did see one comment that the adding of the brown and black stripes renders the flag too literal. After all, there are no royal-blue people walking around. Fair enough, but it’s a harmless gesture made by those who want to represent the folks who have been excluded.
To that point, more from CNN and what Hikes said of the criticism:
But with the nationwide support came pushback and criticism. Hikes said that the “vast majority” of critics are gay white men, a sector of the LGBT community that doesn’t necessarily understand the issues that LGBT people of color might face.
“White people do not know what racism looks like, because that’s the definition of racism,” Hikes said.
There is a presumption among gay white men that the rainbow flag already represents everyone, Hikes said. When other variations of the pride flag have been introduced, such as striped flags representing bisexual or transgender pride, there was significantly less criticism, she said.
“If we use that logic, there should have been the same kind of pushback,” Hikes said.
According to a 2013 survey by the Pew Research Center, 34 percent of LGBT survey respondents identify as nonwhite. The survey also found that white respondents were more optimistic about society’s acceptance of LGBT individuals than those who were nonwhite.
If you’re a white gay person caught up in the rapture of your own deluded bubble of the world, flummoxed by the notion that others dare to disagree with you and seek more blatant representation, do the world a favor and take your beloved OG rainbow flag, rub it in the nastiest trash can you can find, then eat your damn flag. I’ll even slide you my bottle of Crystal Hot Sauce.
It’s not that big a deal. It’s a symbol, and clearly, for quite a few people, an imperfect one. They gussied it up a bit to feel just a teensy bit better and, you know, included. They get two colors, and y’all get to still be white and enjoy all the perks and privileges that come with it. Buck up.