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Gay icon Gilbert Baker predicted refueled flag wars?

Tony Hobday
Written by Tony Hobday

Amid the Charlottesville, Va., rally Republican commentator Star Parker reignited the continuously debunked correlations between the LGBTQ rainbow flag and the Confederate flag on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” this morning. Parker was asked to address the Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s statement Monday, “It shouldn’t take the president of the United States two days to summon the basic decency to condemn murder and violence by Nazis and white supremacists,” which called on President Donald Trump to fire chief strategist Steve Bannon.

Parker’s response in part: “But you know what’s really interesting and really incredible irony here is the same people that are demanding that the Confederate flag comes down are the same people that are insisting that the rainbow flag goes up. These two flags represent the exact same thing. That certain people groups are not welcome here. So if Nancy Pelosi wants to say that we’re going to start shutting down First Amendment rights of a certain group of people, then what happens the next time that the homosexuals want to walk through an American city and protest and counter protesters come out?”

Certainly the history of the ‘gay community’ has touched on bouts of racism and discrimination over the decades but they’ve been an internal stigma. So, Parker’s comment, “That certain people groups are not welcome here” is simplistic and ignorant.

For instance, in the 1980s, lesbians rallied to change the label from “gay community” to “lesbian and gay” community. Then bisexuals, transgenders and others joined in, creating the acronym now typically used, the LGBTQ community; though in some circles additional letters are added, which in itself is a product of secondary marginalization. Other examples of marginalizing within the community include anti-femininity and masculinity, weightism, and racism.

For Pride month this last June, Philadelphia added two colors — black and brown — to the existing rainbow flag, and flew it outside City Hall. The colors, according to the Philadelphia Office of LGBT Affairs’ More Color More Pride campaign, represent inclusion of people of color in the LGBTQ community.

“In 1978, artist Gilbert Baker designed the original rainbow flag,” the campaign states. “So much has happened since then. A lot of good, but there’s more we can do. Especially when it comes to recognizing people of color in the LGBTQ+ community. To fuel this important conversation, we’ve expanded the colors of the flag to include black and brown.”

Ironically, Baker was in the process of adding a ninth color to the rainbow flag when he died March 2017, at age 65.

“We need another color to represent diversity in the age of Trump,” Baker told the San Francisco Bay Times. “Trump takes us back 300 years.”

The Times writes Gilbert has wanted to add lavender for “diversity” to the flag for quite some time, and the new president’s ascension made for perfect timing.

 

 

 

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Tony Hobday

Tony Hobday

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