When the Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal nationwide two years ago, the White House was illuminated with rainbow lights reminiscent of the pride flag to celebrate.
For Amber Hikes and many others in the LGBT community, the lights were a powerful symbol of a government’s support for a marginalized community that had historically struggled to be recognized, much less openly supported. Now Hikes, a black queer woman, is excited about a new gay-rights symbol: a pride flag with additional black and brown stripes above the rest of the rainbow. The stripes represent LGBT individuals of color, a group that can often be overlooked within the overall LGBT umbrella.
The flag was unveiled at a Pride Month kick-off event in Philadelphia as part of a new campaign, More Color More Pride, which aims to recognize nonwhite LGBT communities as part of the broader pride movement, starting with the most visible and widely-recognized symbol of the LGBT community.
The campaign was developed by Tierney, a local ad agency that worked with Philadelphia’s Office of LGBT Affairs, where Hikes is the executive director. Hikes said she shed a tear when the flag was raised last week for the first time. Others at the event had similar reactions. To the best of Hikes’ knowledge, Philadelphia is the first city to publicly and symbolically recognize racial discrimination within the LGBT community.
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