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Before a Pride parade in 1978, artist Gilbert Baker designed the first rainbow flag.

He dyed strips of fabric in eight colors and stitched them together. The positive response was almost immediate.

"We stood there and watched and saw the flags, and their faces lit up," gay rights activist Cleve Jones told The New York Times. "It needed no explanation. People knew immediately that it was our flag."


Today the rainbow flag is a highly recognized symbol for equality, pride, and strength — not just for gays and lesbians, but the entire LGBTQ spectrum.

Gilbert Baker helps stretch the mile-and-quarter-long World's Longest Rainbow Flag from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic coast in June 2003. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

This month, the enduring symbol received a makeover to celebrate the intersecting identities within the LGBTQ community.

The city of Philadelphia advertising firm Trinity created a new Pride flag, expanding the colors to include black and brown stripes. The new stripes are a simple but effective way to honor people of color within the the city's LGBTQ community.

[rebelmouse-image 19527089 dam="1" original_size="750x450" caption="Image via City of Philadelphia/Tierney." expand=1]Image via City of Philadelphia/Tierney.

The flag was unveiled at the inaugural Pride Month kick-off event June 8, 2017, at Philadelphia City Hall. The event featured speakers, performances, and the first raising of the new Pride flag.

The flag is only a part of the work being done by the city and the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations to promote inclusivity.

In January, the PCHR issued a report detailing the long history of discrimination against people of color in the Gayborhood, the city's historically gay neighborhood. Since the report, new policies have been enacted requiring staff members at bars and nonprofits in the Gayborhood to participate in sensitivity training sessions. Additionally, these businesses and organizations may receive "cease-operations orders" if patterns of discrimination emerge.

Photo by Craig Allen/AFP/Getty Images.

Racism within the LGBTQ community is much bigger than Philly.

Many assume there would be a certain level of empathy for people of color within the LGBTQ community because these marginalized populations would have a lot in common. But in many circles, it's not the case.

LGBTQ people of color bear the burdens of homophobia and racism. Trans women of color are killed at alarming rates. LGBTQ people of color are often rejected or objectified while online dating, in bars, nightclubs, and even nonprofits created to serve the community. LGBTQ youth of color are less likely to come out to their parents and are at a greater risk of experiencing homelessness or harassment.

Isabelle Adon (left) and Sarai Montes embrace at a vigil for slain transgender woman Islan Nettles at Jackie Robinson Park in Harlem. Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images.

Couple this with LGBTQ representations in pop culture focusing on wealthy, white, cisgender, male narratives, and it further perpetuates the idea that the LGBTQ community is incredibly one-note. This erasure and lack of representation have consequences, but efforts like Philadelphia's policy changes and flag show we can do better.

Not in Philadelphia? Don't worry, new flag swag is available now near you.

Free high-resolution downloads of Philly's new Pride flag are available for printing or making your own wearables. Flags, stickers, decals, and banners should be available for purchase soon on the initiative's #MoreColorMorePride website.

The diversity and intersection of identities within the LGBTQ community is what makes it so unique, beautiful, and strong. Building on and celebrating this dynamic community through our flag is a small step that goes beyond words to action. This is a step in the right direction.

Know another flag that comes with its own hype video? Check out this short spot to see the passion behind the project.

More Color, More Pride

Join us at 3:30 p.m. today, June 8th, at City Hall to kick off LGBTQ Pride Month with the unveiling of a brand new Pride flag!

Posted by

Philadelphia Office of LGBT Affairs on Thursday, June 8, 2017
Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Co-sleeping isn't for everyone.

The marital bed is a symbol of the intimacy shared between people who’ve decided to be together 'til death they do part. When couples sleep together it’s an expression of their closeness and how they care for one another when they are most vulnerable.

However, for some couples, the marital bed can be a warzone. Throughout the night couples can endure snoring, sleep apnea, the ongoing battle for sheets or circadian rhythms that never seem to sync. If one person likes to fall asleep with the TV on while the other reads a book, it can be impossible to come to an agreement on a good-night routine.

Last week on TODAY, host Carson Daly reminded viewers that he and his wife Siri, a TODAY Food contributor, had a sleep divorce while she was pregnant with their fourth child.

“I was served my sleep-divorce papers a few years ago,” he explained on TODAY. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to us. We both, admittedly, slept better apart.”

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