Gay & Lesbian

Rainbow Flag Addition Stirs Controversy

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Rainbow Flag
New rainbow flag unacceptable?

Gay Rights –
Rainbow Flag Addition
Stirs Controversy

This month, communities all across America are celebrating Gay Pride. However, a recent addition to the rainbow flag and to the LGBT moniker has stirred charges of racism and exclusion.

Gay Rights
Rainbow FlagFor years, the rainbow flag has consisted of 6 colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. However, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender activists in Philadelphia recently raised a redesigned rainbow flag to show support for LGBT people of color. For some within the LGBT community, the addition of 1 black stripe and 1 brown stripe to the beloved flag as part of the “More Color More Pride” campaign has not at all been well received.

Traditionalists say the existing 6 colors of the rainbow flag are representative enough and that ethnicity has no place among the stripes. However, black and brown members of the community say that if inclusion is the LGBT goal, the 2 extra stripes should not really matter. The clash of opinions is part of a larger problem among LGBT men and women where racism is often masked as a preference.

A quick look on the gay dating/sex site Grindr produced a ton of dating profiles from gay white men with the warning: “NO BLACKS, NO ASIANS.” When the overt racism was called out and challenged, the excuse was that it was merely a “preference” and not a bias. Needless to say, black and brown LGBT people have had it up to here with such “preferences,” hence their demand for a more visible symbol of inclusion.

Rainbow Flag

Amber Hikes, who is the director of Philadelphia’s Office of LGBT Affairs and who self-identifies as a “black queer woman,” called the new flag a “profound statement.” She added that “white people do not know what racism looks like because that’s the definition of racism.”


We say that we’re inclusive. We celebrate it. Now it’s time to go further. To broaden the horizons of our community. To change our iconic symbol … To not just talk about being inclusive, but to finally do it.

– More Color More Pride


.Gay Rights
Interestingly, calls for greater inclusion didn’t end with the rainbow flag. Members of the LGBT community have since requested that an addition not only be made to the flag, but to the moniker as well.

Introducing LGBTQIA, which stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual.

For anyone who is unclear about the actual definitions of each term, let’s explore:


LESBIAN: A female who is interested in other females.

GAY: A male who is interested in other males.

BISEXUAL: A person who is interested in both males and females.

TRANSGENDER: A person who was identified as one gender at birth, but feels as if they are the opposite gender.

QUEER: A person who explores gender and sexuality. They frequently don’t consider themselves male, female, gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.

INTERSEX: A person who is born with reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male. Previously, this was often called a hermaphrodite.

ASEXUAL: A person who has no sexual feelings or desires.


Members of the LGBT community now wish to expand and go by LGBTQIA, which has not been well received by some within the community.

Some community members are reminding everyone that being gay does not necessarily equate with being effeminate, while being effeminate does not necessarily equate with being gay. Plenty of gay men are not at all effeminate and plenty of effeminate men are not at all gay. So, for some, lumping all of these mismatched people into one large group is nonsensical. For example, some asexuals don’t want to march in a parade with bisexuals and some gay men don’t want to march in a parade with transsexuals.


Rainbow Flag

However, proponents of the moniker addition believe that the name should change in the spirit of inclusion. They say that these individual groups would not survive on their own and that combining everyone into one group creates strength in numbers.

Who’s right?

Will a redesigned rainbow flag continue to divide the very people it was meant to unite? Will a reimagined LGBTQIA moniker create strength and unity, particularly during the celebration of Gay Pride Month when not everyone who identifies as LBGTQIA is actually gay?



OK WASSUP! discusses gay rights:
Rainbow flag stirs controversy.


DJ is the creator and editor of OK WASSUP! He is also a Guest Writer/Blogger, Professional and Motivational Speaker, Producer, Music Consultant, and Media Contributor. New York, New York USA

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4 Comments on "Rainbow Flag Addition Stirs Controversy"

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Mr. BD
Mr. BD

There is racism everywhere I don't care where it is. And anybody who doesn't believe that is fooling themselves. On paper gay people are supposed to be all inclusive but just look at that Grinder ad and you see the truth. As for adding to the flag or LGTB that is up to them. But I can understand why some of these people don't want to be identified in the same group. I have a gay cousin who nobody ever thinks is gay. He doesn't go to gay club or watch drag or any of that. In fact he is a little uncomfortable around men dressed up as women. So putting everybody in one group is not going to be the best idea for everybody. But again that is up to them. The LGTB seems to be more for whites anyway so they will do what works for them.


BD, your cousin sounds a bit like me. I'm not into "gay"clubs. But I do enjoy a nice supper-club (now and then) with live music (classic R&B, Soul, smooth Jazz).

Also, I don't "look" gay. I've always been very comfortable in my female body, I've always worn female clothing and accessories. And there's nothing "boyish" or "gayish" about my hairstyle.

Oh and you're correct- LGBT organizations are "more for whites anyway so they will do what works for them."

Re: Gay White men and women My observation of those two groups lead me to conclude that they are among the most racists Americans out there, especially rich, gay (and bisexual) White men. But don't take my word for it. Just look at who's running Hollywood and then think about how hard it's always been for actors of Color to get "good" roles, whether it be in movies or television. Look at who's running the global information tech industry and then take a walk-through their giant corporate buildings. Take note of how many (or rather few) Blacks and Latinos you see working in those corporations even at the lower echelons. Look at New York and the entire fashion world. Who's running that world? Just ask any young Black or Brown person aspiring to be models how hard it is to break into that industry…to say nothing of being allowed to… Read more »
Full disclosure: I don't do "gay pride" weekends or parades. Nor do I support "Gay" marriage. Personally, it's not for me. I do however fully support marriage Equality – the right for 2 consenting adults to marry if they so choose, no matter their sexual orientation. Okay with that outta the way……. Let me get this straight (no pun intended)……… With ALL the problems facing this country right now (people struggling financially, Americans worried about jobs, the lack of affordable healthcare insurance, the lack of quality education, terrorism (domestic and foreign), wars and rumors of war, having that dangerous FOOL in the White House etc) THIS is what the LGBT community is focused on?! Are you kidding me?! See, THIS is exactly the kind of mindless foolishness, IMO, that makes Us all within the LGBT community look like a bunch of self-indulgent crazies. My understanding of the "Rainbow" flag is… Read more »
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