Karen Fratti
June 12, 2017 5:12 am

Philadelphia has a very multi-faceted reputation. The first ever capital of the United States is known for its history, its cheesesteaks, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and for being sort of hardcore when it comes to loving its sports teams. But the City of Brotherly Love was also one of the first cities to have a “gayborhood” and has historically been one of the top LGBTQ-friendly cities in the country. So it should come as no surprise that Philly’s new Pride flag just got even more inclusive. To commemorate Pride Month, the city revealed a flag with not one, but two more stripes (black and brown) for LGBTQ people of color.

This is no surprise: Philadelphia is all about recognizing diversity. The city of Philadelphia also released a statement to launch the More Color, More Pride campaign that read, “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 city wrote.

The new Philly Pride flag will likely catch on all over the country.

Philly has its own problems with hate crimes, but changing the flag at least acknowledges that a conversation needs to be had. Because it does. Transgender people of color are more likely to experience bullying and violence, transgender women especially so. While so much progress has been made in HIV prevention and getting the word out about PrEp, people of color are often left out of the conversation, absent from awareness campaigns. Gay men of color are more likely to be diagnosed with HIV, even as the new diagnosis rate is going down for white men.

The LGBTQ community prides itself on inclusivity and making room for all kinds of people, but people of color are still marginalized. Philly’s new flag addresses the issue head on, and hopefully will push the community to do more. You don’t have to be in Philadelphia to rock the new flag. If you want more inclusive swag for your Pride Parade this month, you can get it from the website.

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