Ever wondered what is the history of the vibrant flag with the most powerful symbol. How a rainbow empowers thousands of people to live their truths. Well, it all did begin anciently, it was just the 1960s. It remained a symbol of sheer sexual and gender liberation until long before brands decided to make a profit out of it!
You don’t need anyone’s validation to be relevant!
The colorful breathtaking flag that is the international symbol of the LGBTQ+ community has its birthplace in San Francisco during the 1960s. That area in the era became a hub for the spreading liberal ideas and uprising of civil liberties. Passionate activists and free thinkers were an important part of it. Queers from all over the country fled to leave the places where they were oppressed and treated harshly. It was a safe space to develop ideas about marginalized communities.
Gilbert Baker was one such young flamboyant gay who marched in Pride Parades with extreme zeal. He got very famous in those times along with his novelist friend Cleve Jones. He was asked to make a symbol for the Pride Parade in 1977. They came up with an interesting flag that proved that he was the aptest man for the job. It was a multicolored flag that was hand-sewn and dyed. He took a beautiful symbol of nature to represent the people who were called unnatural.
It initially had 8 colors signifying life, sexuality, love, and similar areas of a queer person’s life. It was soon developed with 6 colors and became the flag that is waved in the air today. This flag is proudly used by queers and allies around the globe to spread the message of love. June is the month dedicated to advocate rights and celebrate all genders and sexualities. The positive changes in society were soon grossly used by corporations to fill their coffers.
For years the rainbow flag became the symbol that only meant uprising from oppression and living the true identities. But pink capitalism engulfed the true spirit behind it. It has become a marketing strategy to sell products after slapping rainbows on their merchandise and websites during pride month. A way to buy into minorities’ need for validation.
It is only fair that we include the voices of the community to fulfill the purpose of the article.
Bruna Freespirit is a transgendered tattoo artist who quoted the following after being asked her opinion about pink capitalism. “I believe that whenever it comes to pink capitalism I believe this would be the next big thing for all the companies to outgrow their market in the LGBTQIA community, I far as I have seen, lots of brands try different types of marketing in the pride month just to earn money, because as soon as the pride month is over and they have reached their sales target, they forget about the LGBTQIA community. Me being a trans woman I face one problem a lot, which is they the salesperson’s in brands don’t know anything about the pronouns. They called me he/him instead of me being a woman. I feel instead of faking all this drama they should teach their employees how to handle or even talk to an LGBTQIA person.”
Gracy is a queer student. She has recently turned 18. “I definitely love seeing brands supporting the queer community during our month of celebration, but then June ends and so does their love for the LGBTQ+. The problem does not end with them considering us anything more than a number on their paycheque. Brands selling pride products, often forget there’s a lot more to the community than women liking women and men liking men. The gender fluidity, asexuality, and the trans aspect of it are lost somewhere in their need to show love for a handful of days.” She talks about pink capitalism.