The City of Brotherly Love’s LGBTQ residents and community organizations gathered with city officials at Philadelphia City Hall today (June 8) for the city’s inaugural official Pride Month kick-off event. At the ceremony, they unveiled what is being hailed as the first-ever Pride Flag with black and brown stripes backed by an American city.
Philadelphia Magazine’s LGBTQ-focused G Philly reports that the flag is a response to local groups, including the Black & Brown Workers Collective, protesting long-standing racism in the city’s downtown Gayborhood and within nonprofits that serve the LGBTQ community. G Philly covered a leaked video last year that showed a White local club owner repeatedly describing Black patrons as n-words. Backlash to the video, combined with the collective’s ongoing activism, ultimately led to a city council bill that gives the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations the authority to penalize discriminatory businesses. Amber Hikes, a queer Black woman, now heads the Office of LGBT Affairs, and the office’s new commission includes mainly local leaders of color.
“The black and brown stripes are an inclusionary way to highlight Black and Brown LGBTQIA members within our community,” an anonymous source close to the flag-raising ceremony told G Philly. “With all of the Black and Brown activism that’s worked to address racism in the Gayborhood over the past year, I think the new flag is a great step for the city to show the world that they’re working toward fully supporting all members of our community.”
Watch the flag raising below, courtesy of Philly Gay Calendar:
Learn more about Philly’s new pride flag at MoreColorMorePride.org.