Introduction: When you see this flag what is your first thought? For most people it’s probably pride right, hence the name “Pride Flag.”. Whether this symbol means anything to you personally or not, most people can generally agree that it emanates a positive presence in society.
Transition 1:Let me take you back to 1977, with Gilbert Baker sewing away the rainbow stripes and creating this infamous icon.
-urged by Harvey Milk (an influential gay leader), to create a pride symbol for the LGBT+ community
-inspired by Judy Garland’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and the stonewall riots that occurred a few days later
– the timing of the emergence of the flag was opportunistic; it was time to take civic action and create a symbol of pride, peace and unity
-this new symbol was first displayed at the San Francisco pride parade a year later in 1978
Transition 2: Almost 40 years later and we can now see the rainbow stripes almost anywhere and everywhere.
-used most commonly during pride parades, it can be seen worn as various clothing, found on your phones keyboard as an emoji, or even draped in the windows in this very building
-As we know, it’s main purpose was to represent pride and unity for a suppressed community.
-But it means so much more than that. For people in the LGBTQ community, seeing the flag can exude a sense of comfort and acceptance wherein people can feel free to truly be themselves.
-it also promotes the ideas of inclusiveness and acceptance of all peoples- something that seems so elementary yet is still so foreign in our country
-it also advocates for diversity; for example, in Philidelphia this past June, brown and black stripes were added to shed light on LGBTQ people of color
-Most importantly, it serves as a mechanism to endorse change and reform for equality such as when the white house lit up with the colors of the rainbow on June 26, 2015 when gay marriage was finally legalized in all 50 states
-you could say it is our civic duty to allow the exhibition of this flag in order to demonstrate all of these aspects which encompass an ideal society
Transition 3: While it has become a commonly accepted and positive emblem, many still oppose it’s existence.
-About a little bit over a month ago, parents at Auburn High School in Alabama petitioned to have a teacher’s personal pride flag displayed outside their room, taken down
-claiming that it “creates a hostile and provocative learning environment for students not comfortable to openly supporting LGBTQ+ community in a public school where students come from diverse political and religious backgrounds.” (FOX News 2017)
-with a ridiculous 810 signatures the petition wants people to “Consider the uproar and chaos that would ensue were a teacher to hang for example a Confederate, Christian or Heterosexual Flag in their classroom.” (FOX News 2017)
-so now it is being compared to as a hate symbol as if it were the confederate flag which represents the racist slave ridden confederacy
-teacher has the right to free speech, and even the duty to promote inclusivity. Not only that but this teacher is the advisor for the EDUCATE club which “focuses on and promotes diversity
-the teacher is only spreading positivity, and is no way pushing anyone to change their beliefs by simply displaying the flag
Conclusion: While it may seem that our modern day is super progressive and that equality has become balanced for everyone, this is still far from the truth. Many people still have very antiquated thoughts and ideals hindering the necessary reforms in order for everyone in this country to truly be equal, and feel equal. While it is our duty as citizens of this country to voice our opinions, it is also our duty to promote positivity and equality. This flag is nothing more than a beacon of inspiration allowing people to realize that their identity is important. So, whether you identify as LGBTQ+, as an ally, or even as neither, I ask of you to let these pride flags fly high and allow people of all gender, race, religion and orientations, to be free in this country.
“Petition Calls for Removal of LGBT Flag from School, Makes Comparison to Confederate Flag.” Fox News, FOX News Network, www.foxnews.com/us/2017/08/25/petition-calls-for-removal-lgbt-flag-from-school-makes-comparison-to-confederate-flag.html.
“Rainbow Flag (LGBT Movement).” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 19 Sept. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_flag_(LGBT_movement).