Make the Castro Pride flag more inclusive

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In 1978, artist Gilbert Baker designed the original rainbow flag, a symbol of LGBTQ+ unity. So much has happened since then, and so much happening in the world now bringing us to this important milestone in our collective history. As our nation continues to come to terms with its history of racism and oppressive violence toward black people, we can do more to recognize black people and people of color in the LGBTQ+ community.

In 2017, the Philadelphia Office of LGBT Affairs’ launched its “More Color More Pride“ campaign, and expanded Baker’s design to include a black and brown stripe to represent inclusion of people of color in the LGBTQ community. This was done to fuel a very important conversation and make big strides toward a truly inclusive community.

It’s San Francisco’s turn now. 

With millions of visitors each year, the iconic flag in our historic district is a symbol to every LGBTQ+ person that asserts our belief in an open and safe community. 

Black and brown LGBT+ people are being excluded or had our presence marginalized or tokenized in our own community. Even while most restaurants and stores in the Castro rely on our labor, we continue to be erased in the community we live, work, or seek refuge in. This has to change

Now, more than ever, when our City and communities across the country are coming together to unequivocally declared that #BlackLivesMatter and #BlackTransLivesMatter, we would like to request the San Francisco Castro Merchants to take action and update it’s flag so that every resident and visitor knows that we too, stand with Black and Brown LGBTQ+ people.

June 28, 2020 represents 51 years since the Stonewall uprising-one of the most recognized moments in LGBTQ+ history. It is where Marsha P. Johnson, a black trans women and Sylvia Rivera, a Latina trans woman rose as leaders to fight back against police oppression and for the recognition of our collective struggle to live as LGBTQ+ people openly.

We urge the San Fransisco Castro Merchants to honor these leaders and now, more than ever, reaffirm its commitment to its own values to be "an international beacon of freedom, acceptance, creativity and diversity."