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Culture

Add Black and Brown To Pride Flag Now!

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Philadelphia recently decided to add black and brown to its pride flag to show solidarity for POC LGBTQIA+ people. I have read many white people outcrying this, saying that they don’t belong. Acting like they are inclusive, until it comes to race.

I disagree. I think we should be inclusive. Their issues are our issues. I’m down with black and brown.

I don’t wish to speak over any POC individuals. I am white. Everything about me is white. Even if it wasn’t, I am white passing and benefit from white privilege in many ways. Today I’d like to use my privilege, hopefully, to use my platform to help make the community more inclusive. Or at least add a positive dialogue towards that end.

Some of the arguments are that, “We shouldn’t add race to the flag.” I’d argue that it’s always been about race. Did we forget Stonewall? People of color started this movement, but they have been pushed aside ever since. I think adding black and brown to the flag shows what this movement is all about.

When it was just LGB, it was all about orientation. People were upset about adding transgender and intersex because it was an identity and not about who you were attracted to. I hardly hear anyone complaining about that anymore. I hope that can reach that point with adding race to the flag.

What has LGBTQIA+ always really been about? It has been about being inclusive. It has been about fighting against the oppressive forces in our culture. To understand why adding black and brown is beneficial, you have to understand why we came together in the first place. To fight against oppressive heteronormativity. To fight against cis-normativity. To fight against white oppression in our society. These three institutionalized oppressive forces are what it was all originally about. But we forgot that. And now we refuse to remember.

Many choose to interpret statements such as above to mean that heterosexuals are evil, cisgender are scum, or that white people must die. I’ve seen so many comments that go to the extreme when we speak out against them.

Someone always pops up to say “Well, I’m white and I’m not racist. I’m straight too, and I love gay people!”

First, this implies that is about you, when it categorically not about you—it is about everyone. These things are institutionalized. They are part of our culture. You might not be a member of the KKK, or shooting up gay clubs but you are part of a system, part of a culture that by pure form and function oppresses those who are not you. Because you are in power, those who are not you are actively oppressed. (I’m suddenly reminded of Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morals, about slave and master mentalities)

For instance. I am white. I am part of a racist culture. I may not feel that I’m actively being racist, but I am part of a culture that oppresses others. It’s like the saying, “There is no ethical consumption under late stage capitalism.” The system we have set up in place is keeping those not in power from having power, and by simply living in the society that has these issues we are allowing oppression to continue.

The people who are in power need to realize that by definition of being in power, they are hurting others. Adding POC to the pride flag is adding to the general idea that “pride” is about the people. It’s intersectional. If it isn’t inclusive, that what’s even the point? If not, it’s just another excuse for people of privilege to oppress others, and I want no part of that.

I would rather be in an inclusive community that do mental gymnastics trying to find excuses for gatekeeping. As a non-passing trans feminine person, I am very familiar with gatekeeping and I don’t think it’s fair for anyone. And as a white person, I have to try my best to use my power to give others power. I want everyone, ultimately, to find liberation, peace, and pride within themselves.

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