Another “Pride” is under our belts; 48 years since the Stonewall riots, 44 years since homosexuality’s removal from the DMS, 2 years since we gained equal marriage rights and 1 year after the Pulse massacre in Orlando. We can legally declare our love for another and in the same day get fired from work or get kicked out of our homes just for being gay. We are harassed, molested and murdered while many still snicker, sneer and call us abominations for being alive. Parents still deny same-sex partners access to each other during illness, hospitalization and death. Governments still hunt us, capture us and make us disappear. The road to equality is extensive and we have only taken the first few steps.
This year the City of Philadelphia added a black and brown stripe to the rainbow flag in support of our brothers and sisters of color who are just as marginalized as members of the LGBTQ community. In 1978, when the striped flag was first used in San Francisco’s pride celebration it included 8 colors. Pink was eliminated and then the Turquoise & Indigo were transformed into Royal Blue all to make mass-production of the symbol cheaper. Symbols are constantly being redesigned and changed. I welcome this addition to my symbol. It continues to show how inclusive the LGBTQ community can be. Now is the time for all marginalized citizens to join and work together for our shared Equality.
As the celebrations have grown, I have noticed amazing changes taking place. Where once it was only the leather-men and drag-queens marching, now it is everyone! All the colors of the rainbow are celebrating being themselves. The LGBTQ community has strived to be a welcoming one. We need to continue to open our arms to everyone. We came together after Stonewall because no one else would stand up for us. WWIT?! Isn’t it time for our struggle to include all who are not treated equally under the law?