Summer heat in Denver, Colorado sometimes unbearable. Instead of cooking one evening my sister, her son, his father, my sister’s friend and myself decided to have dinner at a restaurant downtown.
My two year old nephew sat next to his dad, but across from me, his mom and her friend. Conversations and laughter filled the room until our dinner arrived.
After I placed my napkin on my lap, the waiter sat a plate of ribs in front of my nephew. He swoop in right away. His left hand and his mouth was messy with barbecue sauce. He took his clean right hand and he clutched the center of his stark white T-shirt and he started to raise the shirt to his mouth.
I happened to look up at him after he’d raised his T-shirt. His mom had her eyes on him too. He stared only at me for the longest time despite what his dad said to him, “Don’t pay Tyler no mine. Go ahead and wipe your mouth with your T-shirt. I’ll buy you a new one.” Despite his dad’s comments and laughter, he let go of his T-shirt, looked at his dad and insisted on a napkin.
I looked at him the way our mother use to look at me and my five siblings when our manners weren’t in check accordingly.
June is Pride month, a time of celebration for the LGBTQIA+ community!
You may be familiar with the traditional rainbow pride flag, but did you know that there are many different flags that represent many different sexualities and gender identities? Here are just a few of them:
In 1977, Harvey Milk challenged Gilbert Baker, a veteran who taught himself to sew, to come up with a symbol of pride for the gay community. His response? The original Pride flag. Inspired by Judy Garland’s “Over the Rainbow,” these colors flew at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade celebration on June 25, 1978. Though some dispute whether Baker was the sole creator of the flag that started it all, its symbolism remains. Each color celebrates an aspect of queer Pride:
Hot pink = Sex Red = Life Orange = Healing Yellow = Sunlight Green = Nature Turquoise = Magic/Art Indigo = Serenity Violet = Spirit
1978-1999 Pride Flag
After the assassination of Harvey Milk, many wanted the Pride flag he commissioned to commemorate his accomplishments for the community and their personal support. The demand was greater than the available fabric, so the Paramount Flag Company began selling this version of the flag, as did Gilbert Baker, who had trouble getting hot pink fabric.
Traditional Gay Pride Flag
This is the most familiar flag. In 1979, the community landed on this six-color version, which was hung from lampposts in San Francisco. Numerous complications over having an odd-number of colors led to turquoise being dropped, at least according to reports. Read more about the modern flag here.
Philadelphia People Of Color Inclusive Flag
Noting that queer people of color are often not fully included in the LGBT community, the city of Philadelphia added two colors — black and brown — to the Pride flag in their honor. The city had previously faced accusations of racial discrimination in its gay bars, which led 11 queer nightlife venues to take antiracism training. Many white men were outraged by the flag, claiming that rainbow includes all skin colors, but with a star like Lena Waithe donning it at the Met Gala, it seems the design is here to stay.
Progress Pride Flag
This new flag seeks to take Philadelphia’s inclusive approach a step further. Daniel Quasar, who identifies as queer and nonbinary, designed this flag. The white, pink, and light blue reflect the colors of the transgender flag, while the brown and black stripes represent people of color and those lost to AIDS. “When the Pride flag was recreated in the last year to include both black/brown stripes as well as the trans stripes included this year, I wanted to see if there could be more emphasis in the design of the flag to give it more meaning,” Quasar explained on his Kickstarter.
Here’s a great article about the history of Pride month for those interested in learning more about the origins of this month of queer love, resistance, and celebration!
“If I can think it, I can draw it and I love coming to the Path with Art [Open Studio] Zoom meetings. It’s so nice to be able to be supportive of not only myself but of other people’s art and their different art making textures.”
—Tim Bridge, Path with Art Participant Artist
Join Tim and other artists during our virtual Open Studio on Mondays from 3:30-5:00pm for dedicated creative time and a supportive community environment!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for the Zoom link to Open Studio.
Endings and beginnings can be bittersweet times of reflection. In this moment I’m pondering both; I recently moved out of the intentional community house I’ve lived in for the past five years. One of my favorite parts of living in our community was house dinner. Every Tuesday, we would gather to share a meal with the housemates, ranging from 5-10 people (you’d be surprised how many people you can fit in a 5 bedroom house!). I wrote this poem a couple weeks ago, in honor of our last house dinner. It’s filled with sweet and delicious memories from my time living with beloved community.
The Last House Dinner by Bex Lipps
Family is who gathers at your table Breaking fresh baked bread Filling each bowl to the brim before Holding hands for the ritual ……HOORAY!
Many meals over many years We weekly circled round this table Sharing the pulp of our hearts, The labor of our hands Cooking for each other is a love language And we are fluent
With raucous cackling We laugh at ourselves and our own absurdity Was it even house dinner if your abs don’t ache? Laughter is our medicine, The doses plentiful and strong
Oh, drench me in hollyhock And feed me to the hungry queers Devour me with a side of roasted vegetables Drizzled with balsamic memories I will feed you homemade cookies Until your soul is fully satisfied If you promise to remember This feeling of home