In case you’re wondering why two new colors were added to the rainbow crosswalk last year that lies at the corner of Asbury and Ocean Avenues and near the entrance of the landmark Paradise, it’s in support of an initiative that started two years ago in Philadelphia as a way of showing inclusion to all races within the LGBTQ community.
“For Pride Month, Philly added two colors — black and brown — to the existing pride flag, and hoisted it outside City Hall. The colors, according to the Philadelphia Office of LGBT Affairs’ More Color More Pride campaign, represent inclusion of people of color in the LGBTQ community.
In 1978, artist Gilbert Baker designed the original rainbow flag,” the campaign states. “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.”Alex Abad-Santos, Vox.com | June 20, 2017
Although there is controversy with the addition of these new colors, it is clear to many that all races should be included in the rights that the LGBTQ community fight for. Philadelphia’s Pride Flag Matters; was the title of an article written by Dan Royals in 2017 when the new flag first made its debut. The article had been submitted to The Philadelphia Inquirer, but it was never printed. A year later he submitted it to Medium. Here is an excerpt from that article.
For last year’s gay pride celebration, the Philadelphia Office of LGBT Affairs rolled out a new version of the iconic rainbow pride flag. To make clear that people of color, and specifically people of African and Latino descent, belong in the LGBT community, they added black and brown stripes to the other six.
It’s worth noting that black and brown people have been integral to the struggle for LGBT rights. African American and Puerto Rican drag queens were among those who rose up against police harassment and brutality at the Stonewall Inn in June 1969, ushering in a new era of queer activism. The gay liberation movement that followed in the 1970s was modeled in part on the black freedom struggle that preceded it, and the two movements found common cause around the issue of police brutality.¹ Later on, black gay activists played a key role in convincing the City Council to add sexual orientation to Philadelphia’s Fair Practices Ordinance.²
Some responded to the new flag with hostility, insisting that the original flag has “nothing to do with race,” and that the redesign creates needless division in the LGBT community. But the fact is that racial discrimination and division have existed in Philadelphia’s LGBT community for decades. A year later, the new flag remains an important — though small — first step toward remedying that history and securing justice for the future.Dan Royals, Medium.com | June 24, 2018
Asbury Park, in a show of support to that initiative, added black and brown to their proud rainbow crosswalk last June. Which has become a favorite photo backdrop for both tourists and residents, along with the iconic Wooden Walls Project. Here’s what Amy Quinn, Deputy Mayor, had to say about the new colors.
“We wanted to make sure our rainbow crosswalk represents the diversity, inclusion, and sense of community that our residents value and live their lives by.”Amy Quinn, Deputy Mayor | June 12, 2019
This post was edited on 6/13/19