Six Colour Flag

Who created the rainbow flag?

In many countries, June is marked as the month of pride celebration. In countries where LGBTQ+ rights are not forbidden, you can see flags displayed on the streets, parliament houses, companies, balconies of houses, etc. They can also be seen in demonstrations, parades, and other events that take place during the whole month. But have you stopped to think by whom and why the rainbow flag was created? I was curious myself, so I thought that it would be interesting to learn together.

Gilbert Baker is the creator of the rainbow flag. Barker was a vexillographer (flag maker), a political activist, a drag queen, and a designer. Besides, he enjoyed watching movies, dancing, loving fashion, and other leisures he practiced with his friend Artie and Cleve.

He was talented in designing banners for anti-war and pro-gay protests; thus, many friends and colleagues including Harvey Milk, who was the first gay politician elected in San Francisco motivated him to create a symbol for the gay community.

Baker knew that the symbol needed to be something new and beautiful. He wanted to strip off the painful stigma that was created by the Nazi in the concentration camp, where gay men were marked out by wearing a pink triangle that was tagged on their clothes.

One night, he was out at Winterland Ballroom dancing with Cleve. Both were moving their hips, snapping their fingers, and dancing to the music. Everything and everyone that surrounded them were flashing, glittering, and colourful. At this point, Baker knew he had the main idea, the rainbow flat emerged. So, on the 25th of June, 1978, Baker raised the flag for the first time at the United Nations Plaza in San Francisco to commemorate Gay Freedom Day Parade.

“We were all in a swirl of colour and light. It was like a rainbow. A Rainbow flag was a conscious choice, natural and necessary. The rainbow came from earliest recorded history as a symbol of hope,” describes Baker on his website.  

The rainbow flag that is raised today has six bans from top to bottom:

Red represents life

Orange stands for healing

Yellow means sunlight

Green nature

Blue meaning serenity

Purple spirit

However, when it was created it had eight colours.  Pink represents sexuality and turquoise magic.

Even though there is a dispute about the right of the rainbow flag from different parts, Baker was clear before he passed away in 2017 that the flag is public and free to use by anyone. It is a gift for everyone since it was created with that purpose.

Today as we raise and see the rainbow flag, let’s have in mind that the LGBTQ+ are part of our community, thus remember that inclusion is our duty. 

References

https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20160615-the-history-of-the-rainbow-flag

https://academic.oup.com/jiplp/article/15/9/727/5917767?login=true

May Pole

May is the month for rain, dance, fertility, and planting.

May Pole is in honour of the God Maya Ya, who embraces fertility, mother earth, and the beginning of the rainy season. During the entire month of May, each neighbourhood in the city of Bluefields and Bilwi in Nicaragua prepares dances that are performed around a decorated tree with colourful costumes and some good vibrating musical rhythm. Games, food and drinks are also prepared. 

In 2011, I was part of the production team of the documentary titled Al Son de Miss Lizzie, which describes the artistic life of Elizabeth Nelson Forbes, who is a pioneer of the Maypole dance in the Caribbean of Nicaragua. 

I invite you to watch the documentary and learn about the mixture of cultures. I hope you can feel the spirit of the God Maya Ya. 

Documentary Al Son de Miss Lizzie

Photo cover: May Pole painting by Nydia Taylor

Working Market: An Inequal place for Women

Have you experience inequality in the labour market as a woman?

In some countries, the 1st of May was the celebration of Labor Day. Globally, men and women have different experiences in the labour market. Today, employed women are still under-representation since they receive less pay, some work more hours, few hold key positions, and there is a gap regarding social and retirement benefits.

According to a report from the European Commission gender, the gap in employment between men and women is 11.3%. A total of 66.8% of women is currently in employment, whereas men’s employment rate stands at 78.1%.

A friend, who is a mechanical engineer experienced a gender wage differential. While she was working at a company, a male engineer was hired and received a higher salary even though he had less work than her. I am sure that my friend’s case is something that happens regularly. Have you experienced something similar?

What should be done to stop these disparities? I think we should:

  • Speak out. Don’t stay silent.
  • Report any inequality to your union.
  • Promote re-structuring of labour laws and increase political pressures.

What else will you add to this list?

We need changes!

Photo by Jens Maes on Unsplash

Black Woman

#8M #WomenDay #WeCan

Anonymous

What makes me strong?

My heritage
What makes me weak?
My fears
What makes me whole?
My God
What keeps me standing?
My faith
What makes me compassionate?
My selflessness
What makes me honest?
My integrity
What sustains my mind?
My quest for knowledge
What teaches me all lessons?
My mistakes
What lifts my head high?
My pride
What if I can’t go on?

Not an option
What makes me victorious?
My courage to climb
What makes me competent?
My confidence
What makes me sensual?
My insatiable essence
What makes me beautiful?
My everything
What makes me a woman?

My heart
Who says I need love?
I do
What empowers me?
My God & Me
Who am I?
I AM AN AFRICAN Caribbean WOMAN!

Celebro la Mujer que soy

Yolanda Rossman Tejada

Celebro la mujer que soy,

piel de mango de rosa

carne de níspero sabroso

leche de coco en el paladar.

Celebro mi pelo crespo, inquieto,

rotunda cascada sobre tu pecho a la intemperie,

dezlízate, entre esa marejada tempestuosa,

tupido manglar de raíces ancestrales,

maraña de bosque tropical.

Hunde tus manos allí …

atrapa los deseos que aún oculto,

nido de oropéndola, desafiante,

tibio musgo abrigando tu cuerpo

desnudo, dispuesto.

Celebro este rebelde encaje,

lianas y parásitas adheridas a mi tronco,

danzando con la brisa

en seductores malabares.

Enredadera, intrincado follaje

olorosa a melón, granadilla, maracuyá,

te invito a gozar este cuerpo palpitante.

Sonrisa de mayo, mirada de abril..

Celebro esta pascua florecida

que agresiva se asoma,

evadiendo los colores

que intentan apaciguarla,

ella indómita salta, más plateada,

!Atrevida!

Celebro la mujer que soy,

“agua de lluvia acariciando tu cuerpo”.

Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash