Let’s talk about this new Person/People of Color RAINBOW FLAG… I got your attention I see…. that’s how privilege works; you’re either reading this because it makes you mad (no white stripe or changing the rainbow flag, etc) OR you’re reading it because other people don’t understand why you love the idea of this flag.
I’m 37, I’ve been out for around 20 years. The fact that a queer person of color can even walk around with their partner is really a brand new allowance that has happened towards the end of the Obama era- AND it’s STILL NOT SAFE in many parts of our OWN COUNTRY. Us white privilege folx really have a huge level of privilege, and especially in queer spaces- and if that line makes you feel upset, keep reading and connect with me later. I know it seems like we hear a lot about how easy it is to be white, and I know it’s exhaustive against the Caucasian community- BUT IT’S TOTALLY REAL! Not a day goes by that we shouldn’t be thankful for the fact that our privilege was handed down to us through our biology and skin tone. Period.
Now, if you’re still listening… let’s talk about this flag… as I said, I’ve been out for a while. The “rainbow phase” of my gayness is never going to end and the rainbow flag will always be representative of myself and my community. (Even before the reclamation of the word queer, which is hugely offensive to many, and I use it only with respect.)It was born in 1978, by the recently deceased Mr. Baker of San Francisco, to be REPRESENTATIVE OF US ALL. It was hardly changed prior to the birth of digital media- but since digital media connects us to other folx all over the world, we’ve started publicly sub-categorizing ourselves in very damaging ways. People of color is one example, but there are plenty more we can discuss in another post.
With the rainbow flag, there are hundreds of variations. I’ll post a few pics at the end…
The original rainbow flag will remain, but every sub category will make their variation, or their own flag. If it doesn’t include you and your identities, you simply don’t fly it. For instance, being a lesbian, I don’t fly the Trans flag; there wasn’t ever an argument about that- it’s just known.
Again, if you’re still listening…… now just because I don’t fly a trans flag, basically because I’m cisgender (and have all of the privilege to go with that whether I can admit it or not), I have a choice to make- I can argue because trans individuals have taken over “my rainbow flag” and added a blue, pink and white one- or I can do the right thing…. that is to accept that a different genres of my community (lgbtqia+ or queer in general) wants to express themselves as a genre of the community. I don’t have to fly the flag, but I DO HAVE TO SUPPORT THE PEOPLE IN MY COMMUNITY THAT WANT TO!
Another example is the whole reason we have Pride Month. Not a single young queer person would argue that hetero-practicing humans have privilege: marriage, child adoption, death rights, etc. It’s easier for us to naturally recognize privilege when it’s against us- BUT the purpose of our queer communities is not to fight against each other, it’s to recognize that we all carry the duty to see the privilege we live in and EQUITABLY start boosting up our sisters and brothers so there is no longer a need for privilege conversations. We’ll never have full equality with the typical “white, high-class, US Citizen, able-bodied, sane, Christian, male”, but who cares when we can have EQUITY with every soul and genres of souls in our own spaces… the “transgender, disabled, Jewish, African American” who belongs NEXT TO US, not behind us! That person who represents the first brick being thrown so YOU can use the word queer today and not be executed for it.
SOOOOO, if you’re still listening, stop arguing about it, we all get to fly our own flag and thats the beauty of the RAINBOW. 🙂 Yes, the rainbow represents Gender Identity, Romantic and Sexual Orientation… but who made that rule anyway? It’s original fabric compilation was a symbol of sexuality, life, healing, sunlight, nature, magic/art, harmony/serenity, and spirit. If this is new information to you, we should talk more about the history of OUR COMMUNITY! (Next post maybe?)
Everyone belongs, and we “white” folx who don’t have a stripe in the variation of the POC flag from Philly, we don’t get to decide what flag others choose to fly. WE STAND TOGETHER, we have to.
Thanks for hearing my view and voice,
Kimberly Chambers AKA KimyC8 – “White, lower-middle-class, lesbian, queer woman, mid-30’s, able-bodied, non-neuronormative, spiritual/raised Catholic, mother, survivor, human.”
Here are some (not all) examples of flag variation in the last few years, you can fly that which is applicable to your identity.
Peace out for today. ??? ~KimyC8
Please feel free to share:
Some real talk from the Director of SPLASH Youth of Northern Colorado, about the #QueerPOC #RainbowFlag.
#LetsGetReal #LGBTQ+ #QueerYouth #LGBT #Philly #LGBThistory #SplashNoCo #NoCoSafeSpace #Pride #RainbowRollCall #Equality #Equity #BlackLivesMatter #TransLivesMatter