A new Pride flag has been created to promote inclusivity for trans and people of color.
Julia Feliz, a Puerto Rican and LGBTI community member approached the LGBTI trans community and people of color to design a flag for them.
Feliz’s Pride flag features the trans flag intersecting the original rainbow flag while centering black and brown people of color, in honor, memory, and acknowledgment.
The flag is a response to a previous Pride design created by Daniel Quasar.
Quasar, who identifies as a ‘queer non-binary demi-guy’, introduced it to the world in an Instagram post last June.
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Quasar’s flag maintains the usual rainbow background but features another set of stripes on the hoist.
This part, in fact, presents five half-sized stripes. They represent ‘trans identity (light blue, light pink, white), marginalized POC communities (brown, black), as well as those living with AIDS and the stigma, and those no longer living (black)’.
Quasar’s flag attempted to promote inclusivity across the community. However, the designer has now been accused of exploiting the LGBTI people of Puerto Rico.
Is Quasar’s flag exploiting the Puerto Rican LGBTI flag?
Amanda ‘AC’ Baker, a non-binary trans person, feels the flag might be cultural appropriation.
Quasar’s design has some similarities to the Puerto Rican flag. The latter consists of five equal horizontal bands of red alternating with white and a blue triangle on the hoist side bearing a five-pointed star in the center.
The Puerto Rico Pride flag is modeled upon the country’s flag and was designed and copyrighted in 2000.
‘Quasar claimed to be honoring black and brown trans people with his design,’ said AC Baker.
‘But he has not, to our knowledge, given any money or credit to the black and brown trans people of Puerto Rico, who are still, along with their communities, struggling with the devastation caused by the callous exploitation and wilful neglect of the USA towards all the people of Puerto Rico after last year’s Hurricane Maria.’
‘This cultural and financial theft from the LGBTI community of Puerto Rico is an act of white supremacy,’ Baker also added.
You can download Feliz’s Pride flag for free here. Reproduction for commercial use is possible provided 50% of profits go towards supporting trans people of color. You can also support the new flag through Kickstarter.
‘The more flags, the more discussion, the better’
Quasar said that any similarity is ‘entirely coincidental and unintenional’.
‘As for donations, it was a goal from the beginning to establish an initiative for the purpose of giving back, which I have done. I’ve already begun the process of collecting a portion of profits from sales to donate to organizations who support queer and trans POC. I’m open to suggestion on organizations to consider for the donations.’
Quasar also revealed they ‘have seen the other flag and have actually donated to their Kickstarter.’
‘I sincerely hope they make their goal. The more flags, the more discussion, the better.’