In an attempt to acknowledge the inherent inclusive nature of the queer community, and show solidarity with LGBTIQA+ people who are also Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander or other non-Anglos , The Victorian Pride Centre has added a black and a brown stripe to its official rainbow flag.
Mirroring a recent move in Philadelphia during their annual Pride celebrations, the VIC Pride Centre board decided on the move to increase awareness of queer people of colour and more visually celebrate their achievements within the community.
Board member Margaret Hansford says of the decision:
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTI people have helped, in no small measure and by their personal and political examples, to build the community and the organisations we have today.
They face severe and ongoing discrimination and oppression and we want our “welcome mat” to have a specific “hello” for them.
Much like in Philly however, the move has been met with mixed responses with the coverage of the announcement met with some heated debate on Twitter and Facebook.
Screenshots via Vic Pride Centre Facebook.
Whilst this writer understands many people are upset about altering the Rainbow Flag which has represented the beautifully diverse queer community since about 1978, I find it incredibly hypocritical (as well as slightly disheartening) that so many (mostly white gay men) are so furiously against the simple alteration.
There’s truly some cognitive dissonance at play here from gay men, assumedly fighting for the likes of marriage equality using the argument that our inclusion into an existing “tradition” in no way affects those already within it, but then implying that we as a minority should limit how inclusive our community is and looks.
Symbolism is important, but I would argue being inclusive and constantly evolving and improving on the community’s image and representation is far more essential.
Might I also remind dissenters that the Stonewall riots, arguably the event that kickstarted the gay rights movement that we benefit from today, was itself started by a trans woman of colour throwing a brick…
Article source: Star Observer
Image source: Victorian Pride Centre