PRIDE Month is here! Cue the lights, catchy music, drag queens, and…debate about black and brown being added to the Pride flag?!?
So, unless you’re living under a rock, you’re sure to have seen the news that the city of Philadelphia has added the colors black and brown to the Pride flag in an attempt to be more inclusive of people of color. Cities like LA have, in turn, shown their support for this addition and everyone has chimed in with their opinion about it via social media.
Now, it’s no secret that the LGBTQ community has been unfair and discriminatory against people of color for as far back as we can remember. From “no blacks” scribbled across gay dating app profiles like Grindr, to the white washed Stonewall movie that curiously erased black trans activists that are credited for the start of the Stonewall riots. Racism and perpetuating whiteness through the erasing of black and brown bodies from LGBTQ culture is a long-lived problem.
Statistics even show that most white gay men feel safe and accepted in today’s culture where as queer people of color continue to feel unsafe and unequal. So, what’s a brown and black piece of cloth gonna do about that?
Well, for one, after years of being basically erased from history by a community that is already marginalized it’s fair to say that giving people two stripes on a freaking flag is the least we can do. The argument that I’ve seen the most regarding the addition is “well the flag has always been like this so why change it” which in my personal opinion is the worst argument ever.
Confederate flags have always been flown in the south, does that mean that we shouldn’t remove them? Homophobia and racism have always existed, does that mean that shouldn’t change?
The argument that something should stay the same because it’s always been one way is so far fetched it’s honestly ridiculous. Some people argue that “if it’s not broken we don’t have to fix it” or “the Pride flag already includes everyone” well, here’s your newsflash, ITS BEEN BROKEN FOR PEOPLE OF COLOR.
Just because the system has worked for you doesn’t mean its worked for everyone. Just because – in your head – racism doesn’t exist in the LGBTQ community, doesn’t mean it actually doesn’t exist.
As new strides for equality and a perfect world arise, we must continue to push for a better, all inclusive community. The Pride flag has never been representative of race before, but with the turmoil and tensions of today it’s important to recognize that race matters because for some people that’s a struggle they live with every day.
You don’t get to take a break from being black or brown. It’s a skin you can’t shed, and the lack of representation for people of color is one that has existed for decades.
Adding two colors to a piece of cloth won’t change everything or make everything better for these people, but it definitely lets the world know that in OUR gay community, we won’t discriminate against people on the basis of their skin because we know what it’s like to be discriminated against for something we can’t change.
I get it, change is scary and hard. But refusing to evolve makes you like the people who didn’t want gay marriage legalized because “it’s always been man and wife”.
We have to continue to evolve and be better than we were yesterday.
Guest Contributor: Chandelier Kahlo
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