He Read My Lips Through My Eyes

He Read My Lips Through My Eyes
by Tyler Marcil

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.

Copyright© 2021 by Tyler A Marcil. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be used or reproduced without the written consent of the author.


Stories of Transformation: Tu’u Talaga

In the last newsletter of the month, Path with Art is sharing a story from student Tu’u Talaga. Tu’u has been taking the podcast class taught by Gavin Reub. She shares how it took time for her to realize that language can be an art form in and of itself. Watch Tu’u’s story below.

This project was created with support from Historic South Downtown, highlighting the individuals Path with Art serves.


Pride Flags: Many Colors and Meanings

Photo from reddit

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:

Photo from Como Mag

How has the Pride flag evolved over time? Here’s a little bit of queer pride flag history, courtesy of The Complete Guide to Queer Pride Flags by Ariel Sobel. Check out the article for even MORE LGBTQIA+ Pride flags!

Gilbert Baker Pride Flag

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.

Photo from USA Today

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!