Poll on pride flag change reflects LGBTQ division
A recent national poll on the pride flag change showed that while the LGBTQ community advocates inclusivity, we may not be accepting of others.
The survey noted that most LGBTQ Americans don’t want to include the brown and black stripes added to the pride flag to represent LGBTQ people of color (POC).
However, LGBT POC, the LGBTQ youth, and transgender and queer folk are more likely to accept the changes.
Pride flag change shows racial, age divide
The survey was conducted by Whitman Insight Strategies and BuzzFeed News on 880 LGBTQ adults from across the US, and is part of a larger LGBTQ survey.
Of this number, 58 percent were against the pride flag change while 42 percent supported it. Of those opposing the change, the largest group were gay men, white, and those over 50 years old.
Both groups of gay men and the baby boomer generation opposed it 70 percent against 30 percent. Of white LGBT people, they were against it 62 percent against 38 percent.
Those LGBTQ POC had a narrow divide with those supporting it at 52 percent against 48 percent opposing the change.
On the other hand, transgender people supported the change with 69 percent against, while queer people supported it with 64 percent.
LGBTQ people between ages of 18 and 29 supported the change 53 percent against 47 percent.
Lastly, 41 percent of lesbians and 47 percent of bisexuals were supportive of the change in the pride flag.
Pride flag change in support of POC
The pride flag created by Gilbert Baker in 1978 originally had two more stripes: pink and turquoise to represent sex and magic respectively. These two colors were eventually dropped over the years.
But in June 2017, the city of Philadelphia made changes official by adding the brown and black stripe to the rainbow flag they hoisted at city hall with the message, “More color, more pride.”
This came about after Philadelphia’s gay neighborhood, the Gayborhood, experienced multiple instances of racial discrimination at local bars.
Because of these events, the city and the Office of LGBT Affairs came up with the campaign. Other cities, like Miami, New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, expressed support for the campaign.
Amber Hikes, the head of Philadelphia’s Office of LGBT Affairs who led the campaign, said: “Right off the bat, it has absolutely started a conversation, certainly in this city and beyond.”
However, Hikes admitted that the “vast majority” in the pushback and criticism were from the gay and white men. She said: “White people do not know what racism looks like, because that’s the definition of racism.”
She further said that among gay men, they presume the flag already represents everyone. Moreover, further variations that show bisexual or transgender pride didn’t have as much pushback.
Pride flag change: Wisdom from the past
Comedian Amanda Kerri wrote in the Advocate last year that the change “makes sense when you consider that Philadelphia has had some issues with racial discrimination over the past year.”
“Throw in that there have long been issues of racial division and discrimination in the LGBT+ community nationwide for years, and it’s a good gesture,” Kerri wrote.
She also pointed out that during the 1980s at the height of the AIDS epidemic, a lot of pride flags had a black stripe to represent death in the community.
“If it really irks you that people of color wanted to feel represented on a Pride flag, you need to rethink your battle plans, because this is a stupid hill to die on,” she pointed out.
“I know that the rainbow flag is supposed to cover everyone in the community,” she said, “but when some people feel they have to do something like this to draw attention to their unique issues, it shows we’ve all failed in some regard.”