OPINION: Adding black and brown to the pride flag does nothing

JACOB FARNSLEY
Opinion Columnist

A new campaign started by the city of Philadelphia’s Office of LGBT Affairs, “More Color More Pride,” added black and brown to the classic pride flag, subsequently sending shock waves throughout the LGBT community.

At its creation, the pride flag used race-neutral themes to include everyone. One of the most important parts of the pride flag is that it is inclusive to everyone, not just a certain group of people.

The addition of colors to the flag is taking something that represents everyone and making one group seem more important than the others. While black people may be underrepresented within the gay community, this color addition is not magically going to change that. Forcing these colors onto a flag that has been a symbol for the gay community for almost four decades instantly makes everything about them.

While this may be an unpopular opinion, this campaign is making the issue all about race. Adding these colors makes it seem like black people’s struggles have been worse than every other subgroup in the gay community.

Everything you hear about nowadays has something to do with a race issue. America does have a race issue; police brutality, racial profiling and job discrimination are just a few examples. However, this flag has nothing to do with the color of your skin. I do not see red, yellow, blue nor orange people walking on the streets. If I did, I would tell them to go to the doctor, because I’m a good friend.

This flag is already of symbol of unity. Why make it a symbol of unity between blacks and the rest of the world?

The addition of these colors comes from a good place. However, the execution is wrong. Unity is something that all groups of people strive for, especially the gay community. But your skin color does not mean your strive for unity has been any different than the rest of us. We all go through different tragedies and different heartbreaks; we all come from different walks of life.

A video posted on the “More Color More Pride” web page states that “people of color have been marginalized, ignored, and even intentionally excluded.” The underrepresentation of people of color in the gay community is a real and valid issue, but adding colors to a flag does not help to change that.

Later in the video, the narrator encourages people “to not just talk about being inclusive, but to finally do it.”

Does this mean that for decades, our work has been half-assed? We are already inclusive. I have never been to a gay bar and seen someone discriminated against. Everyone is celebrating life and being alive, not bashing someone because of his or her skin color.

If we are going to start putting skin color into the flag, we might as well throw in a white stripe and stripes for the other races as well. We can all have one giant inclusive flag!

But we cannot do this, because then the flag would lose its true meaning: inclusivity. If the flag loses its meaning, then what does the gay community have to stand for?

We are in a new era for the gay community, but this flag change is something that discredits all of the work the community has done for decades. It says that we, an all-inclusive group, have alienated a single race. There have been misdoings towards people of color in the community, but why can we not change it? Change the representation, not the symbol.

There are other routes this campaign could have taken: they could have released limited-edition merchandise, made campaign videos about the issue, or talked about the issue before forcing it forward like they have.

To change this, society needs to change, not the flag of the community. Start at the source, and the rest shall follow; it should be as easy as that. Changing something because it does not fit your standards of inclusion does not mean the rest of the LGBT community thinks the same twisted way.

However, this just may be my unpopular opinion.

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