More than 40 years after the gay pride flag was created in San Francisco, some transgender activists in the city think it’s time to leave it behind for a more inclusive flag.
The Rainbow Flag was created in 1978 by Gilbert Baker and was meant to represent everyone in the gay community, according to ABC 7 Eyewitness News. However, some transgender activists claim the flag does not represent them, and instead opt for the Progress Flag, ABC 7 reported.
After Baker designed the flag, he expressed what each of the colors represented. “Pink is for sex, red is for life, orange for healing, yellow for sun, green for nature, turquoise for magic, blue for serenity and purple for the spirit. I like to think of those elements as in every person,” Baker said in an interview 30 days before his death, according to ABC 7.
But, some San Francisco transgender activists argue the original flag exemplifies the erasure of transgender black and brown individuals from the LGBTQ+ movement.
Jupiter Peraza of the Transgender District of San Francisco claimed that black and brown transgender activists “spearhead[ed]” the gay rights movement but were “soon kicked out of the gay liberation movement and it turned into a movement that was Gay White people,” according to the outlet.
“We want to feel accepted when we look at the flag as well,” the Transgender District’s Ivory Smith also said, according to ABC 7. (RELATED: The Pride Flag Isn’t Woke Enough, Apparently)
Designed by Daniel Quasar in 2018, the Progress Flag has a triangle that includes white, light pink, and light blue stripes to symbolize transgenderism, and it includes black and brown stripes for racial minorities.
In areas where San Francisco memorialized the Rainbow Flag, such as Market and Castro Streets in San Francisco’s Castro LGBTQ Cultural District, some suggest the Rainbow Flag should be changed to the Progress Flag, ABC 7 noted.
Today we celebrate love.
For the first time ever, the Progress Pride Flag is raised over @Interior.
Happy Pride! pic.twitter.com/8ahpf1WtKY
— Secretary Deb Haaland (@SecDebHaaland) June 14, 2021
However, some community members are resisting the urge to change the flag. “The flag itself is a symbol of pride, the right to love and hope,” said community activist Kathy Amendola, according to ABC 7. “This is not progress, this is cultural eradication.”
The Castro LGBTQ Cultural District will have members of the public weigh in on the question via a Facebook survey before making any final decision asking the public to weigh in, ABC 7 reported.