For years now, Pride has been celebrated throughout the month of June in commemoration of the Stonewall Riots, the event that sparked a greater fight for the inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals in the USA. Each year, thousands of celebrations take place all over the world to celebrate this community in particular.

Recently, the city of Philadelphia started off Pride 2017 with a groundbreaking move. During a kick-off festivity, activists and important figures of the city revealed a new design of the iconic rainbow flag, the most well-known symbol of the LGBTQ+ community.

Amber Hikes, the director of the Office of LGBT Affairs of Philadelphia and one of the authors of the new campaign was present at the event, she even qualified the updated flag and its raising as a "profound statement."

More colors, more inclusion

CNN covered the story and they reported that the "initiative is part of the campaign "More Color, More Pride", created by the Office of LGBT Affairs of Philadelphia and the ad agency Tierney. The main objective of this new project is to recognize the marginalization of brown and black people in the LGBTQ+ community while offering to them inclusion and acceptance. "To not just talk about being inclusive, but to finally do it.", as their campaign video explains it.

Philadelphia is known for being a very open and accepting city to its citizens regardless of their sexual orientation and/or identity, but recently several acts of racial discrimination against LGBTQ+ folks have been reported. For example, in January of this year, we heard that more than one bar in the city had been turning away black customers for violating the established dress code.

Jim Kenney, mayor of the city, made a comment on the issue stating that "Racism in the LGBTQ community is a real issue. It's a real issue in our entire society and we need to more address it here in Philadelphia."

Controversy over the new design

An important statement, such as redesigning a symbol that has been used for many years, wouldn't go unnoticed by the public, and so far it has created some controversy and division among the members of the community.

While a portion of LGBTQ+ folks argue that the colors of the flag already represent equality for all, the rest are aware of the oppression and discrimination LGBTQ+ People Of Color face. It can be said that the new flag has as many supporters as opposers, many of whom have gone online to share their thoughts on the issue at hand.

In the end, whether you agree with the redesign or not, it's important to remember that the pride symbol was created in 1978, by artist Gilbert Baker, as a statement to the visibility of LGBTQ+ individuals, and as a symbol of the fight for equality. As the famous author, J.K. Rowling once wrote,"We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided."