I was kinda shocked to realize that #BlackLivesMatter was started by Black lesbians. But it made sense when I learned that they had been vocal activists for LGBT issues in the years before, and very successful at it. It has always been their goal to unite the two struggles into a broader campaign of tolerance, justice, and inclusion. Much of that effort is based out of Philadelphia, so the color change there doesn’t surprise me.
The rainbow has always been about diversity. I remember (way back) when it was just the Gay Pride flag, and then letters started getting added, and now it’s LGBTQXYZ. I think that for “people of color” (I just hate how pc that sounds), it’s been a double-jeopardy, and within the Black community, I know there’s been more of a fight to be included in the inclusion within our own ranks. The struggle doesn’t just echo one another, it crosses paths.
However, I don’t think it’s necessary. Keeping it the traditional rainbow already symbolically includes everybody. A rainbow doesn’t have black or brown in it. After all, the individual colors don’t represent particular communities, so why should additional colors? A rainbow is simply the universal symbol for diversity and solidarity. Messing with the colors mean we don’t truly don’t quite get what the flag stands for.
I’m not sure how gays will feel about everyone hijacking their flag, but if that means we’re all on the same page and actually getting along under that banner, then to me, that’s success. If we are going to exploit cultural appropriation, then at least we are appropriating tolerance and acceptance this time. Nobody has that down better than the LGBTQXYZ community.
I know, I know. Another straight guy with gay opinions. Still my two cents.