I guess I’m not a particularly observant person, and I’m admitting to being a total insensitive asshole, because I’m just noticing the new “More Color More Pride” flag this year. But after some research I see that it’s not so new at all. It’s been around for a number of years now. It was introduced in Philadelphia, at their 2017 gay pride, amid some controversy from the systemically racist white gay male community there.
Some said that the colourful stripes of the pride flag were never intended to represent skin colour, or that IF the black and brown stripes are to be added, THAN a white stripe should also be added to be inclusive of all skin colours. I can imagine that these responses are akin to the incredibly insensitive responses of many white people to the Black Lives Matter movement, saying “All Lives Matter”.
The white people who are offended by #BlackLivesMatter or the #MoreColorMorePride flags are the same people, and they are missing the point entirely. And, they are showing us all the more, why this kind of updated messaging is so clearly important and needed.
Most people are not even aware of just how racist, sexist, homophobic, and/or transphobic they are. It just doesn’t occur to them when they say or do things that are hurtful and damaging to others. And yet some others are so entitled, prejudiced, supremacist, and exclusionary that their fear and hatred is overt, and they don’t even try to hide it.
The people with secret racism or those ignorant of their racist discrimination are almost even more dangerous than the overt racists. Because when you are aware that you have a problem, and you are honest about your problem, other people can be aware that you have that problem, and can choose to stay away from you, unless you choose to work on and resolve that problem. But if your prejudice is hidden, or unacknowledged, folks just don’t know where you stand, or what they might be walking into at your establishment.
For those who are both BIPOC and Queer, it’s not always clear which spaces are open and inviting to them, and which are not. The rainbow flag that is supposed to be inclusive of all people within the LGBTQQIP2SAA+ Community, does not make it clear enough to BIPOC folks, that those inside or running that business are truly inclusive of everyone that identifies within the Queer community.
The original flag doesn’t say, very clearly, and for all to see, that we support LGBTQ++ rights, AND the rights of all Black, Indigeiouns, and all People of Colour. And it really does NEED to be said! It NEEDS to me made that overt and clear! Because unfortunately, this is still an issue, it has not been resolved, and until then, this cannot go without saying.
I get that it seems like it should go without saying, that white gay men who have been discrimnated against for centuries because of their gender and/or sexuality, should therefore have more of a sensitivity and understanding for those in other communities of people who are discriminated against, such as BIPOC folks. Logically it seems as though, if a person has experienced prejudice that they would be more sensitive to the prejudice that others experience. And it’s just NOT TRUE!
Being a Queer community member or Allie does not nessessarily mean that a person is a BIPOC community Allie as well. And people who belong to both these communities need all of us to show our support, our inclusivity, and be as clear about it as we possibly can be. This is one way that we can very easily show that we are an Allie to both communities.
Adding more colours does NOT take anything away from the original message of inclusivity in the old pride flag! It only adds MORE! So please, I’m committing to, and asking my fellow LGBTQ++ friends and Allies to start using the new and more colourful flag form now on.
Let’s make sure that they know that we think so.