During a recent Pride Month kick-off in Philadelphia the campaign More Color More Pride, a movement to recognize nonwhite LGBT communities within the broader pride movement, unveiled a pride flag with an additional black and brown stripe to represent LGBT people of color.
The campaign was created by Philadelphia’s Office of LGBT Affairs and local advertising agency Tierney, and the flag was revealed at Philadelphia’s City Hall.
“We’re proud to host this celebration for the community to come together not just for Pride, but also to reinforce our strides towards combatting discrimination within our community, honor the lives of our black and brown LGBTQ siblings, and uplift our shared commitment to diversity and inclusion within our community,” Amber Hikes, the executive director of Philadelphia’s Office of LGBT Affairs said.
According to Hikes, Philadelphia is the first city to publicly recognize racial discrimination within the LGBT community. The city’s own Gayborhood has faced multiple instances of racial discrimination within the past year — leaked video footage showed a nightclub owner using a racial slur, and there have also been instances of discriminatory dress-code policies at the local gay bars, according to CNN.
The city of Philadelphia has created this campaign and flag to begin combating discrimination within their own LGBT community.
“I’m proud to join the LGBTQ community in the fight for justice, equality and stand in solidarity with all members of the LGBTQ community,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said.
Hikes, a black queer woman, said there is a presumption among gay white men that the rainbow flag already represents everyone.
“White people do not know what racism looks like, because that is not the definition of racism,” Hikes said.
When this flag was unveiled as a symbol of racial equality in a community that has not always been racially inclusive, Hikes said there was an immediate response, both in support and in criticism.
“Right off the bat, [this flag] has absolutely started a conversation, certainly in this city and beyond,” Hikes said.
Other iterations of the pride flag, such as the transgender and bisexual flags, have received much less criticism.
“The rainbow flag is the single most recognizable icon for the LGBTQ community,” a video for the campaign says. “It’s a symbol for everyone to rally around. Yet communities across the country are divided. People of color have been marginalized, ignored, and even intentionally excluded.”
The video continues, “We say that we’re inclusive. We celebrate it. Now it’s time to go further. To broaden the horizons of our community. To change our iconic symbol. It’s just a start, but it’s a start.”