THE STO­RY OF THE RAIN­BOW FLAG

Gay Friendly Germany - - Magazin | Up Front - Ste­pha­nie Kuh­nen

Its co­lours are un­ders­tood around the world, but who in­ven­ted it?

If it wasn’t ap­pa­rent be­fo­rehand, the pho­tos of ac­tor Til­da Swin­ton in Moscow or tho­se of Af­ri­can les­bi­ans and gays hol­ding rain­bow flags that blan­ke­ted the pla­net ma­de cle­ar that the rain­bow flag is much mo­re than just co­lour­ful ho­mo kitsch; ra­ther, it is a sign of re­sis­tan­ce against in­jus­ti­ce. Its co­lours are un­ders­tood around the world. They are co­de pro­mi­sing a fri­end­ly wel­co­me: les­bi­ans, gays and trans­gen­der peop­le are ac­cep­ted he­re. Re­gard­less of whe­re you are in the world, if you know the lo­cal lan­gua­ge or are tra­vel­ling by your lo­ne­so­me, the rain­bow flag has be­co­me a sli­ce of ho­me, ever­yw­he­re. The LGBTI rain­bow flag was de­si­gned by Ame­ri­can ar­tist and ac­tivist Gil­bert Ba­ker, who wa­ved his own ve­ry first, hand-sewn rain­bow flag at the gay pri­de pa­ra­de in San Fran­cis­co on Ju­ne 25, 1978. Ba­ker may ha­ve be­en in­spi­red by the rain­bow ban­ners car­ri­ed by mourning drag queens at Ju­dy Gar­land’s fu­n­e­ral in New York Ci­ty on Ju­ne 27, 1969. Her ver­si­on of “So­mew­he­re over the Rain­bow” is per­haps the ul­ti­ma­te bal­lad of lon­ging and ye­arning. Le­gend has it that the uto­pia of a land bey­ond the rain­bow, whe­re even the most spec­ta­cu­lar dreams co­me true be­ca­me the in­spi­ra­ti­on for the Sto­ne­wall Ri­ots that hap­pe­n­ed on Chris­to­pher Street ear­ly in the morning of Ju­ne 29, 1969. The San Fran­cis­co gay pri­de pa­ra­de com­mit­tee na­med the rain­bow flag as the sym­bol of the gay mo­ve­ment in 1979. In May of the sa­me ye­ar, the mur­de­rer of gay ci­ty su­per­vi­sor Har­vey Milk got off with a ve­ry le­ni­ent sen­tence, which spar­ked the Whi­te Night Ri­ots. The po­li­ce, on­ce again, we­re bru­tal in quel­ling the rio­ting les­bi­ans, gays and trans­gen­de­red peop­le. To­day, the rain­bow flag isn’t just a re­min­der of the vic­to­ries of one of the most suc­cess­ful so­ci­al mo­ve­ments of the twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry and sym­bol of the di­ver­si­ty of the LGBTI com­mu­ni­ty, it al­so gi­ves ho­pe to ma­ny peop­le for a fre­er, mo­re pe­ace­ful li­fe of their own choo­sing.

Pri­de in To­kio/To­kyo (Ja­pan)

Newspapers in German

Newspapers from Germany

© PressReader. All rights reserved.