An LGBT Pride Center in Melbourne, Australia has yet to be built. But before it breaks ground, it’s already breaking the mold. After being inspired by Philadelphia’s update to the pride flag, the center is following suit and adding two new stripes to their logo as well.
The Victorian Pride Centre in Melbourne will bring the area’s LGBT community together in a single space. The Victorian State Government has backed the center with $15 million in funding.
The center’s board decided to add two new stripes — one brown and one black — as a mark of respect for diversity and inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBT people. Also for the LGBT majority, “which is not Anglo-Saxon.”
“Our previous logo was an interim logo the board envisaged would change with the evolving discussion about what the Pride Centre will mean for the Victorian LGBTI community’” board member Margaret Hansford said in a statement.
Hansford next lists three reasons as why to the board changed the logo:
“First, the LGBTI community has been a major beneficiary of increasing public support for diversity and inclusion. We need to be leaders in continuing to identify and welcome groups who feel, or are in fact, excluded from our community.”
“Second, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTI people have helped, in no small measure and by their personal and political examples, to build the community and the organizations we have today; and long may they continue to do so. They face severe and ongoing discrimination and oppression and we want our ‘welcome mat’ to have a specific ‘hello’ for them.”
“Third, it is clear that the proportion of non-Anglo-Saxon people involved in our community and its organizations is substantially lower than their proportion in the general population.”
She continues: “We need to constantly remind ourselves the benefits it provides us are not enjoyed by many others, and we need to send signals we want this to change.”
The center’s board cited Philadelphia’s pride flag makeover as inspiration for the change.
Amber Hikes, Philadelphia’s director of LGBT Affairs, told the PGN: “Seeing an image like this flag instills so much pride in me as a queer black woman. When I see the flag, I feel like I see myself.”
Hikes says the extra stripes are “simple, but remarkable.”
Comments on the Victoria Pride Center’s new logo have been mixed. One commenter wrote, “Great to see the change …much more inclusive” while another said, “This is reverse racism at its ugliest … Our flag isn’t about the color of your skin!”