How harmful are a few more colours in the Pride flag? Will it hurt or help someone?
The revelation that someone has proposed adding two new stripes to an alternate Pride flag has caused some commotion. Why exactly? I don’t really know. At first I questioned it, but that’s just when you see the headlines like “two new stripes added to rainbow flag”, and I’m like “oh, are we adding back the Pink and Turquoise?”
No, we weren’t adding back the pink and turquoise, we are adding black and brown. Yeah, they’re not typical rainbow colours, but we’ve seen other Pride variants rely heavily on black, brown and orange stripes…here’s looking at you, fellow bears.
So what are these new stripes about? Well it part of ‘More Colour, More Pride’ which aims to give visibility to LGBTQ+ people of colour. So is it really harmful? No. Do we really need it? Yes. But why? I’m going to tell you.
You see, I am a white, cisgender, gay man. I am the accepted norm. If you’re gay, you’re white, simple. But it’s wrong. When you get films like Stonewall, completely whitewashing history, and changing the person who threw the first brick, you have to really question…are we representing everyone in our community?
To an outside, the rainbow flag is just the “gay pride flag” and that works…for the L and G of the group. And so some time ago, other flags were created to represent the B and T…and then the P and the A and the letters go on and so do the flags. Did people cause a fuss when a Bear Pride flag was created? Or when the Leather Pride flag was created? No, because again, I’m sure the rationale was that it included everyone even if that visibility was only to those who were in the LGBTQ+ club.
The black and brown stripes denote race. They say that people of colour are also in the mix. They are also LGBTQ+ people. Is this flag going to replace the more common six stripe flag? No. Much like the Transgender Pride flag didn’t replace the common six stripe rainbow flag. It is an alternate like Alyssa Edwards. If you are a person of colour and want to use this new flag, use it, if you are white and want to use this flag, then use it. It is about being visible and understanding that our history is vast, and is lost to those who are not within our community.
Valuable lessons can be taught and people should remember that not every person in our history was white. Not all of us are cisgender, or fit into one category, or can be represented by one symbol. Why is it a rainbow? Because we are a spectrum or people that cover all walks of life. You want to create a new flag for your part of this large community, then you do it. Just because the six stripe rainbow is more accepted doesn’t mean you can’t be visible anywhere.
What people need to remember is that this common rainbow flag is the just that…it’s common and seen by the outside as the overwhelming symbol that a location is gay friendly. But it doesn’t stop other flags being flown in other places.
Never forget that we have to stand together in all of this, and that we will be stronger united than if we are divided over things like colours on a flag.