Yesterday in Philadelphia, LGBTQ activists and city officials gathered to kick off Pride month by raising a new official flag. It’s the traditional rainbow flag we all know, with two additions: a black stripe and a brown stripe.
The flag is part of a local initiative to address a history of racism in the city’s LGBTQ neighborhood and community groups. It’s the first time an American city has embraced the flag with brown and black stripes.
G Philly covered a leaked video last year that showed a White local club owner repeatedly describing Black patrons as n-words. Backlash to the video, combined with the collective’s ongoing activism, ultimately led to a city council bill that gives the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations the authority to penalize discriminatory businesses. Amber Hikes, a queer Black woman, now heads the Office of LGBT Affairs, and the office’s new commission includes mainly local leaders of color.
“The black and brown stripes are an inclusionary way to highlight Black and Brown LGBTQIA members within our community,” an anonymous source close to the flag-raising ceremony told G Philly. “With all of the Black and Brown activism that’s worked to address racism in the Gayborhood over the past year, I think the new flag is a great step for the city to show the world that they’re working toward fully supporting all members of our community.”
QTPOC followers, I want to hear from you: What do you make of Philly’s initiative and the new flag along with it?
…while i appreciate the sentiment and effort, personally i do not need nor want a separate but equal stripe added to the flag to explicitly include me, i want to be explicitly included in the existing, standard flag, as should have been the case from the very beginning. my blackness is not and cannot be separate from the Life, Healing, Sunlight, Nature, Serenity and Spirit represented in the standard rainbow flag as it has been and will always be part of the fabric that makes those colors vibrant to begin with.
and anyone who dares suggest that i am “part of the problem” because i personally happen to not care for this flag can fuck right off.
someone sent an ask to this blog asking how i feel about the pride flag that Philadelphia unveiled back in June, so reblogging previous commentary from my sideblog.
additionally, i’d like to add that i personally feel like this flag, with its added brown and black stripes, suffers in part from the same problem as this flag– that is to say, i take issue with the assumption that all QPOC in America (or even just Philly) feel included in / represented by these two stripes, which are a clear reference to people who are commonly referred to as “Black” / “Brown” specifically. i question why there even is this assumption that all QPOC would feel represented by these two colors specifically. given the fact that racism and colorism in America extend well beyond black and brown, why would or should all QPOC be represented this way? and again, i can’t help but feel a tad (just a tad!) angry that there even is this need to “highlight” QPOC in the LGBTQIA community in the first place. you know, given that we have been in this community since the beginning and are very much part of the reason it even exists as it does today.
and don’t even get me started on how much i respect what the people at #MoreColorMorePride are trying to accomplish, but how jaded i simultaneously am about the whole thing.
i do want to make one thing absolutely clear: even if i don’t care for the flag personally, i still fully support those who do welcome and / or embrace this flag as their own and will not stand for anyone making light of or dismissing the validity of this flag with the likes of “what does race have to do with it?” or other such bullshit that i’ve seen virtually everywhere.
…but on a lighter note, know that as strongly as i feel about this flag, i’m simultaneously sitting here laughing my ass off at all the white people who were / are beside themself over it BecauseReasons.