Unless you live in a hole, you will know that June is Pride Month.
Pride is about celebrating, embracing and being proud of who you are. It's also a time to raise awareness for the kinds of issues that different members of the LGBTQA+ community are facing. Awareness is more important than ever, with the USA's current administration enforcing new pieces of legislation that impact the community in a disproportionate way. This year, Pride is also a time of mourning, remembering the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. Today marks the attack's one year anniversary that saw 49 people lose their lives, and 53 people injured.
The iconic rainbow flag is a symbol that we all know and love, but one city in the States took it upon themselves to make some adjustments. Philadelphia chose to add not one, but two new colours to the rainbow flag for the most amazing reason. Amidst the purple, blue, green, yellow, orange and red, the city added brown and black in order to honour people of colour and celebrate inclusivity within the community.
The incredible organisation behind it is More Color More Pride, who work for progress within the LGBTQA+ community. A statement on their site says:
"In 1978, artist Gilbert Baker designed the original rainbow flag. An iconic symbol of LGBTQ+ unity. So much has happened since then. A lot of good, but there’s more we can do. Especially when it comes to recognizing people of color in the LGBTQ+ community. To fuel this important conversation, we’ve expanded the colors of the flag to include black and brown. It may seem like a small step. But together we can make big strides toward a truly inclusive community."
The flag itself was designed by local company Tierney, in partnership with the city's Office of LGBT Affairs, and is the first time that the rainbow flag has been modified in a major way by an official organisation in order to highlight racial diversity. Recognising and celebrating diversity and inclusivity in all of its forms is absolutely crucial in order to fight against marginalisation, and this is a fantastic step in the right direction.