Things That Matter

The LGBTQ+ Flag Just Got Updated And Its Generating Mixed Responses

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To kick off Pride Month, Philadelphia unveiled a new look to the iconic LGBTQ+ Rainbow flag.

In recognition of Pride Month, the city of Philadelphia raised this new updated LGBTQ+ flag in front of the Philly’s City Hall. This new flag comes as part of the city’s campaign, “More Color More Pride” which is taking action toward becoming more inclusive of minorities.

The already colorful flag got new black and brown stripes to speak to minorities.

The original flag, which was created almost 40 years ago by Gilbert Baker, went on to become the biggest trademark for the LGBTQ+ community.

Ernest Owens, journalist and Philly resident says, “The black and brown stripes are an inclusionary way to highlight black and brown LGBTQIA members within our community,” Owens writes in Philadelphia magazine. “With all of the black and brown activism that’s worked to address racism in the Gayborhood over the past year, I think the new flag is a great step for the city to show the world that they’re working toward fully supporting all members of our community.”

The addition of the two new colors to the pride flag, not only falls during Pride Month, but also in the same week as the anniversary of the Pulse massacre.

The shooting in Orlando, Florida, in which a lone gunman killed 49 people and wounded more than 50. Many of those were gay minorities.

Some people are really digging the inclusivity of the two new hues.

? Proud that my backpack's latest piece of flair is the expanded LGBTQ flag! #MoreColorMorePride #Pride2017

A post shared by Josh Kruger (@joshkrugerphl) on


While others don’t think it was necessary.

The site for Philadelphia’s campaign, “More Color More Pride,” states that this expansion “may seem like a small step. But together we can make big strides toward a truly inclusive community.” Learn more here:


READ: Coming Out As Gay in Latino Culture is the Scariest and Most Rewarding Thing You Can Do

Do you like the new flag? Let us know by sharing this story and commenting below! 

Antonio Banderas Owes His Life To A Heroic Drag Queen Who Stopped Traffic To Save His Life

Entertainment

Antonio Banderas Owes His Life To A Heroic Drag Queen Who Stopped Traffic To Save His Life

antoniobanderasoficial / Instagram

Antonio Banderas is one of the most iconic actors to ever live. He has played a long series of characters spanning time, ideologies, and sexual orientations. However, Banderas recently shared a story that suggests his storied career might not have ever happened.

In a recent interview, Banderas recently admitted that he was in a horrific accident when he was a teenager.

Credit: @DNAmagazine / Twitter

Banderas recently spoke to The Independent and the interview started with a story about how a drag queen came to his rescue. Banderas was only about 16 years old at the time and continues to thank and think about the drag queen who came to his rescue.

“It was 1976,” Banderas recalls to The Independent.

“And the front wheel of my motorbike went into a ditch and, boom! I hit a car and my head hit the tank. Bam! Then this person who was working a corner for clients, came from nowhere, got in the middle of the road and stopped a car to take me to hospital,” Banderas told The Independent.”The kickstand got me here [in the calf]. Blood everywhere. You could see the bone.”

That’s right. A 16-year-old Banderas owes his life to a drag queen who drove him to the hospital after a motorbike accident.

We don’t know who the drag queen is and Banderas didn’t give any more details other than the rescue. However, it is pretty cool to hear Banderas recall a story from so long ago that many never knew.

The interview was for Banderas’s new role in “Pain and Glory” where he plays a gay man.

“I don’t really know,” Banderas said when asked if straight people are given LGBTQ+ roles too often. “I’ve played gay characters for a long time and have always tried to be very respectful to the gay community. I’m an actor. I just play the character and try to believe them completely when I’m doing them. I try not to perform them; I try to live them. But, you know, I’m not Zorro, either. I have never been heroic. I run away!”

Banderas has played the role of a gay man multiple times starting in 1987 with “Law of Desire.”

Whoever the person is who saved Banderas’s life all those years ago, thank you. You saved an artistic gem and we are all better for it.

READ: Despite The Quintanilla Family’s Protests, Telemundo Is Moving Forward With The ‘El Secreto De Selena’ T.V. Series

Two Pulse Survivors Are Hosting An Anti-LGBTQ+ March Just Five Minutes Away From The Nightclub

Culture

Two Pulse Survivors Are Hosting An Anti-LGBTQ+ March Just Five Minutes Away From The Nightclub

_alivingwitness / Instagram

On June 12, 2016, an armed man entered Pulse Nightclub and opened fire. Forty-nine people died that night as a result and 53 were injured. The shooting was the most deadly shooting at the time. Now, two survivors are claiming they are no longer gay after finding Christ and are marching in the name of conversion five minutes away from the deadly attack.

Angel Colon and Luis Javier Ruiz survived the Pulse Nightclub massacre and have since claimed they are no longer gay men.

Credit: @fearlessidentity / Instagram

In the aftermath of the shooting, Colon and Ruiz have created an organization to promote the debunked and dangerous theory that homosexuality is something that can be changed. It has been scientifically proven that sexual orientation and gender identity cannot be changed at will. There have recently been high-profile examples of former conversion therapy advocates coming out as gay and rejecting the mentality that it is something that can be “fixed.”

As part of their ministry, Colon and Ruiz are hosting a “Freedom March” on Sept. 14 in Orlando five minutes from the remains of the Pulse Nightclub.

Credit: @BillyCorben / Twitter

Ruiz and Colon told NBC News that their mission is not to forcibly change anyone’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

“We’re trying to equip churches, even if they’re not gay-affirming churches, with the resources they need and teach them not to judge the LGBTQ community,” Colon explained to NBC News. “We’re trying to share our stories through ministry and share the testimonies of people who’ve come out of the homosexual lifestyle.”

The march has been received with mixed reviews with many in the LGBTQ+ community seeing the march as an attack on the community.

Credit: @jota_sexteam / Twitter

There is also a sentiment that the march is an insult to the memories of those who died that night simply for being part of the LGBTQ+ community.

“While we honor the freedom for expressions of faith, and hold the beauty of religiosity in our community, we cannot condone the gross misuse of religious text and faith to exploit LGBTQ+ people or support conversion therapy,” Christopher Cuevas, the executive director of QLatinx, wrote in an email to NBC News. “The expressions of our queer and transgender identities are the embodiment of divinity and grace, because we are living our most radical truth by celebrating and centering our LGBTQ+ identity.”

Ruiz has suggested that people can choose their sexuality and their path.

However, what Ruiz fails to understand is that scientific studies are proving more and more that is it the genetic makeup and brain chemistry that dictate a person’s sexual orientation. Studies have proved that people have not better of a chance to change their sexual orientation than they do their hair or eye color.

LGBTQ+-friendly religious organizations have reached out to Orlando asking for help stopping the march.

Credit: @qchristianorg / Twitter

“The Freedom March describes their movement as ‘former homosexuals and transgenders sharing our testimonies and celebrating our freedom.’ At Q Christian Fellowship, our members have far too much experience with the damage that can be done by organizations promoting ‘ex-gay’ ideologies and conversion therapies premised on the false and dangerous claim that people must be ‘delivered from LGBTQ+ lifestyles,'” reads the open letter. “You should be aware that The Freedom March possesses significant organizational overlap with anti-LGBTQ+ groups such as Equipped to Love, the Changed Movement, and Moral Revolution, which describes itself as ‘a company of radicals helping to define a healthy sexuality’ in a ‘generation overwhelmed by conflicting messages about love, lust, and relationships.'”

But, some LGBTQ+ community members are spreading the message of love being the most powerful weapon against this anti-LGBTQ+ movement.

Credit: @emilyjoypoetry / Twitter

Love is one of the most powerful tools in anyone’s arsenal. In the face of a march trying to tell young LGBTQ+ people that they can change, it is important that people raise their voices in love and support. Being LGBTQ+ is okay and natural.

READ: He Survived The Shooting In Orlando And He Is Now Telling His Story

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