Philadelphia added 2 new stripes to the Pride flag. Here's what they stand for.

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.

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
More
via bfmamatalk / facebook

Where did we go wrong as a society to make women feel uncomfortable about breastfeeding in public?

No one should feel they have the right to tell a woman when, where, and how she can breastfeed. The stigma should be placed on those who have the nerve to tell a woman feeding her child to "Cover up" or to ask "Where's your modesty?"

Breasts were made to feed babies. Yes, they also have a sexual function but anyone who has the maturity of a sixth grader knows the difference between a sexual act and feeding a child.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Instagram / JLo

The Me Too movement has shed light on just how many actresses have been placed in positions that make them feel uncomfortable. Abuse of power has been all too commonplace. Some actresses have been coerced into doing something that made them uncomfortable because they felt they couldn't say no to the director. And it's not always as flagrant as Louis C.K. masturbating in front of an up-and-coming comedian, or Harvey Weinstein forcing himself on actresses in hotel rooms.

But it's important to remember that you can always firmly put your foot down and say no. While speaking at The Hollywood Reporter's annual Actress Roundtable, Jennifer Lopez opened up about her experiences with a director who behaved inappropriately. Laura Dern, Awkwafina, Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong'o, and Renee Zellweger were also at the roundtable.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Life for a shelter dog, even if it's a comfortable shelter administered by the ASPCA with as many amenities as can be afforded, is still not the same as having the comfort and safety of a forever home. Professional violinist Martin Agee knows that and that's why he volunteers himself and his instrument to help.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Courtesy of Macy's

In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

"In the beginning, it was hard to accept that it would be improbable for me to accomplish my previous goals because my illness took away so many of my physical abilities," says Cazier. His wish of becoming a model also seemed out of reach.

But Macy's and Make-A-Wish didn't see it like that. Once they learned about Cazier's wish, they knew he had to make it come true by inviting him to be part of the magical Macy's holiday shoot in New York.

Courtesy of Macy's

Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

He also got to spend part of the shoot outdoors, which, as someone who loves climbing, hiking, and scuba-diving but has trouble doing those activities now, was very welcome.

Courtesy of Macy's

Overall, Cazier feels he grew a lot during his modeling wish and is now emboldened to work towards a better quality of life. "I want to acquire skills that help me continue to improve in these circumstances," he says.

You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

Believe
True
Macy's