Happy Pride month! I call it Gay Stamina Month because there are so many things to do. Pride began as a protest and, I believe, our liberation is all interconnected. May it continue to be a protest AND the gathering together of joy, rage and ideas to create the world we want to see!

While the flashpoint that began the modern day Pride movement, and what we celebrate on the last weekend of June, is the Stonewall Rebellion, queer people have always existed. Every person throughout herstory who chose to live and love queerly was building this movement.

Hi! I’m Bevin! I want to be a good influence on you! I’m a spinster queer auntie and everything I create on the internet from my podcast to this blog and my aerobics class is to help you create a life YOU love living and regard yourself with love and grace. I’ve been out for 25 years and I’ve learned some things in these queer streets!

“In 1978, Harvey Milk asked Gilbert Baker to create a unifying symbol for the growing gay rights movement, and on June 25 of that year, Baker’s Rainbow Flag debuted at San Francisco’s Gay Liberation Day parade.” You can read more about the creation and intention behind the pride flag in the book Rainbow Warrior: My Life in Color.*

For decades we partied, protested and gathered under the original rainbow flag–designed after the sky with meaning in each stripe. “Red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, blue for serenity, and violet for spirit.”

In 1999 Monica Helms designed the Trans Flag. (Which I absolutely LOVE because if you know me you know how I feel about pastel colors, pink and blue specifically.) The pink and blue represent the traditional gendered girl and boy with the white middle stripe for folks who are intersex or in transition.

From AJ Hikes on Instagram! It’s Pride 365!

In June 2017 the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of LGBT affairs, under the leadership of AJ Hikes (a friend I met during our mutual year in Los Angeles), unveiled an updated design of the pride flag. It was called “More Pride More Color” and it was intended to be a symbol of solidarity and recognition to the LGBTQ folks of color who have lead our liberation movements.

There was backlash to the 8 stripe flag but in such a short time it’s rooted in and ushered in a whole new wave of Pride flags. It’s kind of wild to think ten years ago we didn’t have the variety of flags we do now! I look back at those gay pride celebrations and don’t see the flag diversity we have now!

I love a labrys–the symbol adopted by lesbians in the 1970s to represent our Amazon warrior tradition. The upside down triangle commemorates the queer lives murdered during the holocaust in Nazi Germany. (The same symbol you see in the upside down pink triangle.)** This flag was designed in 1999 by Sean Campbell.

There have been many lesbian pride flags (one site I found said 13 different ones) and as a culturally lesbian person it really tracks that our community has so many different symbols because we don’t all agree on one. Have you ever tried to come to consensus with a group of lesbians? There has never been one big lesbian processing meeting to pick one.

Truth be told I kind of hated the most common lesbian flag–the orange and pink one. “My sisters, aesthetically we can do way better and we deserve more!” That’s what I would have said at our lesbian processing meeting about the flag.

But then one day I realized orange is my mom’s signature color (a lesbian) and my signature color is glitter but among my favs is pink and when I realized the flag was the two of our colors blending together I got over my offense at how ugly it is. It made me cry sentimentally, our gay family in a flag.

Emily Gwen designed this one on twitter! You just come up with an idea, put it out there and see what happens! Creation is the reason we incarnate on Earth and so many of us die with our aspirations and ideas inside us.

We have more access to “stuff” than ever before–because of Amazon’s swift delivery and exploitative factories over seas. Making pride flags of all kinds easy to buy and wave and trash. We have never had more trash on earth ever before! As all of our liberation is bound up in one another it makes me so sad to see so much waste in the name of partying.

Last summer I was reflecting my own queerness and how my sexual identity is far more of an unrestrained openness to the most important power in the universe–love.

Queer is in opposition of all compulsory heterosexuality and the very idea of holding hostage our belonging to our conformity. Afraid people are easier to control–who profits off your self loathing?

The most important thing queer community has taught me is solidarity. And solidarity is something I learned very strongly modeled by working class and poor queer folks. Our very survival is bound up in our working together to ensure our mutual liberation and support.

I thought of a new flag I’d like to get up our poles for Pride season and all year long.

A tie dye rainbow piece of fabric (please make it second hand if you can) with “We’re All in this Together” screen printed on it. (Please get together with your comrades for a screen printing party.)

If I had access to my first love doing graphic design for me right now I’d have it as a graphic but for now we just gotta imagine it.

Happy pride, beloveds! Whether you are LGBTQ+++ or an ally, remember we speak truth to pseudo power by continuing to stay alive and support one another.

*(A reminder that any link I share to Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you. I strongly suggest and support indie bookstores so shop local when you can, but if you’re going to use Jeffrey Bezos, please cut into his profits a lil bit!)

**I was once gifted a pair of pride Nikes and the pink triangle wasn’t upside down. The IGNORANCE that is perpetuated in the corporitization and sanitizing of pride.

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