Op/Ed: Goth Gays Can’t Erase Queer People of Color From the Pride Flag
A campaign has just been launched to add a black stripe to the pride flag. The campaign was created by Darkness Vlad Tepes, a “goth” member of the LGBTQ community. Tepes says that as a gay goth, he does not feel adequately accepted by or represented in the LGBT community and that a black stripe should be added to the flag in order to represent “goth” queer people.
“With a black stripe we will be treated as equals within the gay community,” he told the Lancashire Telegraph.
But wait, haven’t we done this before?
In 2017 the city of Philadelphia launched a campaign called More Color More Pride. The campaign was aimed at adding black and brown stripes to the Pride flag in order to represent people of color in the queer community.
The image of the gay flag with these new black and brown stripes at the top went viral, causing controversy from queer people across all sides of the political spectrum. Many members of the LGBTQ+ community were actively opposed to the idea and advocated for an unchanged flag.
Arguments largely centered around the fact that the different colors of the flag represent abstract concepts. Red represents life and sexuality, the orange healing and friendship, the yellow vitality and energy. Green represents serenity and nature, the blue harmony and artistry and purple represents spirit and gratitude.
While this is true, to say that new stripes can’t be added to recognize the specific struggles of queer people of color and to address the whitewashing of the gay rights movement is explicitly racist.
Other critiques went so far as to say that a white stripe should be added to represent white people, which sounds a lot like the same shoddy logic used to advocate for “White History Month.”
While Philadelphia’s new, updated flag gained traction among queer people of color and their allies, it was not very well-represented by the mainstream gay movement.
Fast forward to March 2018 and the conversation about adding a black stripe to the Pride flag has moved away from the experiences of people of color. Queer people who identify as “goth” may not feel represented by the lively colors of the Pride flag, but the answer is not to add a black stripe, something that’s already been claimed by people of color.
To even begin to compare the oppression that people face for being “goth” with the oppression that black people face is absolutely ridiculous. You may choose to wear black eyeliner and wear black clothes, but you don’t choose to have black skin.
Perhaps Tepes would be better off just creating his own flag altogether.
What do you think of Darkness Vlad Tepes and his plan for gay goth stripes? Let us know in the comments!
Featured image via CascadeNews.co.uk