Thursday, February 02, 2023

Take the L(GB)*


I happened to (quickly) walk past the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in the West Village over the weekend, and only when I got home did I begin to wonder what I'd seen. (I was late meeting a friend at the Whitney, so it was all kind of a blur.) When I told Damian that I thought they'd removed the iconic Rainbow flag out front and replaced it with the trans pride one, he immediately assumed I meant that they'd swapped it with the "trans-inclusive" flag, the one where part of the trans flag is Frankensteined onto Gilbert Baker’s already all-inclusive design. No, I protested. I'm pretty sure it was just the trans pride flag. This afternoon I had my friend who lives near the Center -- as it's been rebranded in recent years -- take photos for me and sure enough, I was right.  

Now don't get me wrong. Yes I am a cranky old cisgender gay white man. But I get it -- and immediately assumed the Center had done it for, perhaps, some transgender awareness month or the like, so didn't really think much more about it. (There's no question that trans people are under attack in this country, so it made sense as a symbol of solidarity.)   

But then I remembered it's Black History Month. And the main transgender-themed event I could find -- Transgender Awareness Week -- was back in November. So it did strike me as tone-deaf that the one-time Lesbian & Gay Community Services Center had removed most mentions of lesbians and gays out front, especially at a time when governmental attacks (the Supreme Court eyeing same-sex marriage) and violence (another LGBT bar was just shot up) against them are also on the rise, so much so that even the president of the United States has addressed it in recent speeches, including a few weeks ago when he signed the gay marriage law calling it a "blow against hate." But what do I know? Maybe bullying and gay bashings have gone out of style and the suicide rate of gay and lesbian youth has plummeted in recent times and I just didn't get the memo. 

*Bonus points if you get my obscure Motels reference.

UPDATE: A rep for the Center says the flag has been flying solo since Transgender Awareness Week, and that it's their policy to rotate flags "from time to time." 


Jaradon said...

Call me retro but I miss the days when the original rainbow flag would unite us all.

Brian said...

I think they rotate the flags they fly. They had the original Gilbert Baker design flying for a while, as well as the Progress Pride flag. I guess I don't see anything wrong with putting a spotlight on the trans community given all the crazy anti-trans bills that are moving through state legislatures.

Mike c said...

November, December, January, now February -- "from time to time"?
Gilbert Baker's original design was all-inclusive. It leaves out no one.
Whereas the trans pride flag specifically excludes, by far, most members of the community that the Center serves.

Mr. Satan A. Chilles said...

So the flag has been up since November. I thought it had gone up suddenly, last summer.

Ari R. said...

I miss the old flag and I'm probably the most old fashioned one here. I could do without the T. I feel I have nothing in common with a straight trans person. I totally support them but feel it has set us back about 20 years. I think most of middle America probably thinks all gay people are trans. It has definitely slowed our progress. And it's probably slowed theirs. I mean would people have even thought of a trans person without the LGB attached? It used to not be an issue. I think together, it's created issues.

Fanny's Flag said...

The original rainbow flag was already inclusive. By doing something like this, it's does the opposite of inclusion. It's really weird.