A flag and a con­ver­sa­tion

GA Voice - - Nationalnews -

psaun­ders@the­gavoice.com

“Many thought the flag was di­vi­sive, or said the flag wasn’t sup­posed to be about race, or just didn’t like the flag chang­ing. It’s no co­in­ci­dence that the vast ma­jor­ity of those op­posed to the flag looked like me … white cis­gen­der gay men.”

On June 8, a rain­bow flag with black and brown stripes added to it was hoisted up a pole out­side Philadel­phia City Hall as part of a cam­paign to make LGBT peo­ple of color more vis­i­ble. And with that move came con­tro­versy.

The up­roar spread from Philadel­phia across the coun­try, and you know At­lanta wasn’t go­ing to be left out of this one. This is such an At­lanta con­ver­sa­tion. We have one of the largest pop­u­la­tions of LGBT peo­ple in the coun­try. We have the most LGBT peo­ple of color and the largest Black Gay Pride. And we have our own trou­bled history with race in this city, both in and out­side of the LGBT com­mu­nity.

Many thought the flag was di­vi­sive, or said the flag wasn’t sup­posed to be about race, or just didn’t like the flag chang­ing. It’s no co­in­ci­dence that the vast ma­jor­ity of those op­posed to the flag looked like me … white cis­gen­der gay men.

And to all those white cis­gen­der gay men out there who are tired of hav­ing your color and gen­der iden­tity pointed out to you, I sug­gest you try imag­in­ing what it’s like to be a color or gen­der iden­tity other than your own. And if you were up­set about the flag, I’m cu­ri­ous what ex­actly this takes away from you, re­ally? Does this re­ally af­fect your life in any mean­ing­ful way? Can you con­sider how much more pos­i­tively it could im­pact some­one of color com­pared to what­ever neg­a­tive you think it could bring you?

The mis­take here is think­ing that adding those two col­ors on the flag in Philadel­phia was only for peo­ple of color. This move was ben­e­fi­cial for ev­ery­body be­cause of the con­ver­sa­tion it’s cre­ated about the ex­pe­ri­ences of LGBT peo­ple of color. But it’s ben­e­fi­cial Philadel­phia un­furls their new Pride flag. (Kelly A. Burkhardt/Philadel­phia Of­fice of LGBT Af­fairs) only if we’re hon­est enough with our­selves and rea­son­able enough with others to have that con­ver­sa­tion.

“They’re very dif­fi­cult con­ver­sa­tions to have,” said Am­ber Hikes, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Philadel­phia’s Of­fice of LGBT Af­fairs, when asked by NBC News about it. “I’ve been very clear about that — this is not go­ing to be an easy process.”

It’s two stripes. If you don’t like it, fly ver­sion three of the rain­bow flag. That’s right, the flag that peo­ple are so up­set about chang­ing has changed be­fore. Some peo­ple iden­tify with it and fly it. Others don’t, and fly another. There is no na­tional del­e­ga­tion that de­cides what flag rep­re­sents us and what flag we all have to fly. The one with black and brown stripes flew in Philadel­phia. You’ll prob­a­bly see it here and there this fall at At­lanta Pride. Deal with it.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.