This content is written by Ernesto Chon Soto, recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Superior who directed LGBTQ+ Programming at the Gender Equity Resource Center during his time there. He is providing a perspective on the Philadelphia pride flag, information about which can be found here.
As a Queer Person of Color (QPOC), I want to provide a nonwhite perspective regarding Philly's Pride Flag.
Philadelphia's Office of LGBT Affairs action was honest and daring.
I appreciated their efforts to combat the on-going racial and ethnic discrimination within the community. However, this flag does not represent me. This is a flag that was imposed by a handful of individuals without the input of the QPOC community. This flag was created for Philadelphia Pride by a local advertising company called tierney.
Though the director, Amber Hikes, of Philadelphia's Office of LGBT Affairs is QPOC, she does not represent the community. She is in position to serve the community to further promote equity and visibility. She is not the community.
The pride flag is a token that symbolizes unity in regards to our wide array of Identities (excluding race and ethnic background). Philly's Flag has change the meaning of our token flag. If it were to be used universally then it would be excluding individuals who do not have a racial or an ethnic background. Philly's Flag demonstrates unity of our wide array of identities AND POC.
I find that Philly's Flag can be used to put QPOC in a category but what is the point if it promotes exclusion? Amber took a daring step that was fundamentally miscalculated by mystery and lack of guidance. Overall, this is why I refrain from accepting such monstrosity.
Side Note: I know that Amber was not the only individual pushing this initiative. Also, I do not speak for QPOC community but for myself