Christina Engela's picture

Rainbow Unity

Last week I noticed for the first time that people refer to the rainbow flag as "the gay flag". I have often heard it referred to as such, but for the first time I really thought about it. Is it really?

We have quite a diverse community, consisting of gay men, gay women (or lesbians), bisexual people, transgender people (including transsexuals, drag queens, transvestites, she-males) and intersex people. There are also other sub-groups such as pansexuals, panromantics, the gender-queer and asexuals. And if you think that's all there is to us, you're mistaken. There are also some lesser-known sub-cultures within our community, such as the bear and leather groups.

And yes, while we may be gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex, we can also be part of more than one of these groups at the same time. I for example, am a transsexual woman who generally dates other transsexual women. I am also panromantic and asexual - and to add to the flavor, I am also an honorary member of the PE Bears - and yes, all of these things at the same time. Considering this, I could find individual flags for the Transgender Community, bisexual (but not pansexual or panromantic) community, and the Bear flag. I did manage to find one flag to represent all of these things - the Rainbow Flag - which represents all these aspects to my nature, my personality and my existence, even though I am not technically gay, but don't mind being called as such. This would be the Rainbow Flag, which is too often called the "Gay" flag.
arvan's picture

Officer Dani Lee Harris is first intersex person to lead Pride parade


AS A GRAND MARSHAL of this year’s Atlanta Pride parade, Officer Dani Lee Harris, the LGBT liaison for the Atlanta Police Department, had hopes to wear her uniform proudly despite the controversy surrounding the APD’s recent raid of the Atlanta Eagle, a gay bar.

But when activists became angered again this week over her participation in Pride, and the concern she said her son had for her safety is she wore her uniform, she decided on Tuesday not to wear her uniform.

“My biggest concern is the safety of my son and out of respect for him I will swallow my pride,” she said. “I’m flabbergasted,” she said Tuesday. “Why people can’t realize this is about 21 officers out of 1,700 officers, and [the raid] is still under investigation.  But I will come out of uniform.

"They got this one,” she said of those angered by her being a grand marshal.

arvan's picture

Tales of 2 gay pride parades: Shanghai & Tel Aviv

Mixed results from across the globe as pride parades are taking place this month.

In Shanghai, the Christian Science Monitor reports of China straining between competing goals for their pride parade.  Wishing to appear modern and accepting to the rest of the world while still deeply bound by age-old prejudice and systemic restrictions of individual anything, China is giving mixed signals.

Organizers of China's first gay pride week were struggling Thursday to find new venues for their events after police in Shanghai warned clubs and bars against joining the planned festival.

The crackdown came even as China's state-run English-language daily was hailing the celebration as "a good showcase of the country's social progress" and "an event of profound significance."


"Official attitudes have not changed at all," complains Cui Zi'en, a gay activist and film director. The general public, however, is growing more tolerant, he says, and young people are better informed than their parents about sexuality.

"We are still trying to make sense" of the police interference in Shanghai Pride, one of the organizers says. "But social and official attitudes will both continue to slowly and gradually embrace homosexuality in China. This is an irreversible tide."

Meanwhile in Tel Aviv, The Jerusalem Post reports a more inclusive, better supported and outright progressive experience for their pride parade.

Tens of thousands of people were estimated to have participated in Tel Aviv's 11th annual Gay Pride Parade Friday, which took place as part of the city's centennial celebrations.

The parade began in the late morning and continued throughout the day, ending in the early evening hours, with a beachside wedding of five gay couples - two male and three female.

A small group of people held a protest against the parade, but no incidents were noted between the sides.

We can be thankful for good news in both cities, as even lukewarm recognition is a marked improvement over centuries of denial and persetucion.  However, I am still holding out for acceptance, equality and respect.  It is not really an outrageous demand.


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