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The Name of Our Community, and the flag
#1
Hello everyone!

I'm just setting up this thread as a place to discuss a topic.  I'm in no way saying that what I'm about to post is 100% right, and that everyone should follow it.   What I would like is to see everyone's opinion on this matter, and I hope for some interesting conversation.


We all used to be "The Gay Community".  Then we were "Gay and Lesbian", which then became LGB, and now LGBT+ for short, with a longer extension as  LGBTTQQIAAP (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally, pansexual).

I've started to refer to us as "The Alphabet Crew".

Of course, for each letter, there is a separate flag.  The rainbow flag, which used to represent us all, now seems to only represent gay men.  Sometimes, a black, dark brown, and light brown stripe is added, to represent gay men of color.

My own opinion, I feel like this divides us all into even smaller groups, when we are already a minority.  Given the current administration in power, I feel like we should be more united.

What would I like to see?   (Keep in mind, only my opinion, and I don't see this happening)

I would like to see our community no longer referred to as a string of letters.  I think a great option would be that we all fall under the name of "Queer".  When referred to, we would be "The Queer Community".  The rainbow flag would now represent The Queer Community, as the rainbow was meant to represent all stripes in our minority.

Gay men would now need a new flag to represent them, and I would propose a flag that had a muted yellow background, and a prominent pink triangle, point down, in the center.  A nod to those in our community who were lost in the concentration camps.

What are your opinions?   I'd like to hear them! 
[Image: 51806835273_f5b3daba19_t.jpg]  <<< It's mine!
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#2
Before I write anything, I will give the general warning that I am highly intoxicated at the moment. And that I'm replying to this partly due to that, and partly because opinions were invited to be shared. Im just drunk and have feelings you know? 

I agree that its important to feel and be united. Especially now. And even though I'm not really educated on what all the different letters mean or what different sexualities are beyond gay straight or bi --- I do feel like the inclusion of those letters and the individual flags that represent those different individuals are ultimately inclusive, and not divisive.

At least in my lifetime, being born in 1992, i always grew up under the assumption that the "gay" community was synonymous with the "not cis or straight" community. Ive always seen it as not being about a community that was proactively created to be about homosexuality, but as a community that was created in reaction to an exclusive, hetero-normative, gender conforming society - if that makes sense.

But im young, and I as much as I try to educate myself on gay history, I dont know everything. I wasn't there. And I welcome the insights and guidance of those who do, and those who were. 

In terms of the black and brown stripes added to the flag, I've always been in support of that. Again, in my view, its not about division, its about inclusion. I see the black and brown stripes as the queer community itself recognizing and celebrating the importance of black and brown queer people within the community - by making it a part of that universal symbol -the gay flag. 


It threw me off a little with the proposal that gay men should adopt a separate flag from this universal "queer" identity, and that this gay flag should incorporate symbolism to commemorate gay men murdered and persecuted during the holocaust. I thought unity was the goal? Why would gay men then need a separate flag, and especially a separate flag to represent gay men that had symbolism from the holocaust? How is that inclusive, but additional letters or colors in the flag at the same be considered divisive?

Just as all gay men are not black or brown and so may question the inclusive intentions of having brown and black stripes added, I'd say that not all gay men have that shared history of European/ Nazi German oppression. We have lost lots of members of our common Queer community due to oppression in western, so called democratic and free countries too.

And in many cases, those injustices were related to race as much as, if not more than, the targeted person's gender expression or sexuality - their "Queer" identity. For many of us, the ultimate symbol of oppression and injustice is the swastika. But for another large percentage of us, it's not. Not because anyone wants to dismiss the holocaust - oh fuck no.. but because others in our community have experienced oppression beyond that time and context. 





Hopefully all that makes sense and if it doesnt , i at least hope i dont come off like im just shaking my fist and yelling at my cat. Thats how nights often end in quarantine world in my apartment now, but I'm trying to work on that and make it happen less and less. 

I am very interested to see where this is going to go, and what other peoples opinions are.




I also really appreciate you @CellarDweller for creating a thread that requires some deeper thinking and reflection too, and that asks for opinions.

I said what i said when I said that Stud of the Day is my favorite thread, but ones like these are a very close second.
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#3
(06-07-2020, 02:09 AM)CellarDweller Wrote: Hello everyone!

I'm just setting up this thread as a place to discuss a topic.  I'm in no way saying that what I'm about to post is 100% right, and that everyone should follow it.   What I would like is to see everyone's opinion on this matter, and I hope for some interesting conversation.


We all used to be "The Gay Community".  Then we were "Gay and Lesbian", which then became LGB, and now LGBT+ for short, with a longer extension as  LGBTTQQIAAP (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally, pansexual).

I've started to refer to us as "The Alphabet Crew".

Of course, for each letter, there is a separate flag.  The rainbow flag, which used to represent us all, now seems to only represent gay men.  Sometimes, a black, dark brown, and light brown stripe is added, to represent gay men of color.

My own opinion, I feel like this divides us all into even smaller groups, when we are already a minority.  Given the current administration in power, I feel like we should be more united.

What would I like to see?   (Keep in mind, only my opinion, and I don't see this happening)

I would like to see our community no longer referred to as a string of letters.  I think a great option would be that we all fall under the name of "Queer".  When referred to, we would be "The Queer Community".  The rainbow flag would now represent The Queer Community, as the rainbow was meant to represent all stripes in our minority.

Gay men would now need a new flag to represent them, and I would propose a flag that had a muted yellow background, and a prominent pink triangle, point down, in the center.  A nod to those in our community who were lost in the concentration camps.

What are your opinions?   I'd like to hear them! 

I don't belong to a "Community", I am simply a human being belonging to the human race and I don't feel the needd to group myself under a "banner".  Why do I need to differentiate myself?  The sooner the world recognises that, the better.  As to those in the concentration camps, they were not homosexuals, gypsies and Jews, they were human beings.  They were singled out at homosexuals, gypsies and Jews but more than anything, they were human beings.
"You can be young without money but you can't be old without money"
Maggie the Cat from "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." by Tennessee Williams
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#4
Hmmm... the idea is nice but I kinda like the flag the way it is now. The rainbow colors just appeal to me.
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#5
I suppose I only associate myself with a tribe when engaged in discussion or some common activity. I tend to gravitate towards some (but by no means all) people who share an aquatic or nomadic life, an interest in green politics or some kinds of musicians, but my tribes are based more on friendships than kinships.

The only thing I feel I have in common with other gay men is the shared experience of knowing what it's like to be attracted to another man and perhaps some of the backlash that comes as a result of not being straight. I cannot ever remember walking into a gay pub and thinking "What amazing music. I must remove my shirt and dance." Diablotin

Once upon a time Christians thought they owned the rainbow. Then the number of colours were reduced and it was appropriated as a symbol of the queer community. Nowadays in the UK rainbows are displayed in the the front facing windows of people's houses when they wish to show support for the health service.

I have a strong antipathy to flags - particularly ones used to separate us into nation states. P.A. bought a set of cutlery with union flag handles and I cannot bring myself to use it. I apologise to those who will not get this but the notion of rallying under a flag or worse still, swearing allegiance to one just seems odd. The only use I have found for a flag is to help find my way back to my van on a crowded festival site.
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#6
I'm really enjoying seeing everyone's posts and opinions. Keep them coming!

(06-07-2020, 06:15 AM)Emiliano Wrote: It threw me off a little with the proposal that gay men should adopt a separate flag from this universal "queer" identity, and that this gay flag should incorporate symbolism to commemorate gay men murdered and persecuted during the holocaust. I thought unity was the goal? Why would gay men then need a separate flag, and especially a separate flag to represent gay men that had symbolism from the holocaust? How is that inclusive, but additional letters or colors in the flag at the same be considered divisive?

Hello @"Emiliano", perhaps I didn't explain that part properly. Here is what I was thinking.

Each group in the LGBT+ community has their own flag, all of them see to involve vertical stripes in various colors. Gay men have the rainbow stripe flag. My proposal was that the current rainbow stripe flag would now represent the whole "Queer" community. However, each group would still have their own flag. If that were put into place, gay men would need a new flag, as the current rainbow one would be representing everyone in the LGBT+ group. That is why I suggested the new flag.
[Image: 51806835273_f5b3daba19_t.jpg]  <<< It's mine!
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#7
Heraldic shields use a similar idea - several concepts in code on one shield. If I knew how to read heraldic symbols I would know a lot more history.
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#8
I’m a cis white gay male, I feel represented enough.
Bernd

Being gay is not for Sissies.
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#9
To be honest, even though we have all these letters and different flags, I do think that the idea of us as one big community is still understood quite strongly, and that queer is the term to use for all of us and the rainbow flag does still represent all of us.

I use the rainbow flag for myself and I’m not a gay man, I’m a nonbinary lesbian...
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#10
I loved the heraldry idea! That can sum up so much with so little. A symbol promising unity with others (that is the other heraldic shields, flags, and tapestries) on all of them would be nice.

Humans are tribal, it's part of our survival mechanism, and that can make us irrational, so I can understand why some would be cautious about getting "too specific" (not to mention the usual wolves in sheep's clothing that try to hijack or exploit or deliberately sabotage a movement, and try to play sides against each other), but plenty understand the value of alliance. I know one reason I disliked a bill from over 10 years ago was that it excluded trans from the same protections because the group felt it was too hard to get by as it was, and yet back in the 1980s (IIRC), racial minorities in New York City pushed hard to include protection from all you could put under the "queer" label and refused to exclude them when pressurred to. If they can be that noble, especially in the Reagan years, then so can we today. (And I value the statement that if we don't hang together then we'll hang apart.)

As for what to call it? For me, personally, queer works. Really, virtually anything (extremely rare exceptions) works. If I take offense at a word then it's almost certainly because of the TONE than the actual word...and even "hey, you" can be offensive if said in a tone of contempt.

(Granted, a texting problem is that tone is hard to convey, many don't even think to try because they internally assume it will be obvious to everyone, but there are others out there who automatically assume the worst possible tone of voice or intent. It's very frustrating. And then there are the passive aggressive gaslighters who can abuse and thus destroy trust through misuse of say smilies while being cruel or divisive. Vigilance is always called for, but then hyper-vigilance can become a problem itself. Finding that balance is a problem.)

Of course I look forward to the day (no doubt long after I'm dead and it's an open question if humanity itself can survive long enough to see this come about) in which being gay is no different than being left handed (once a persecuted minority group, now most don't even blink an eye at it). Should that day come about, there won't really be a need for such flags or heraldry (though they might prove useful to identify a bar or club or something like that).
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