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Pride flag dispute shows the inherent divisiveness of identity politics

The demand for better representation on the famous rainbow Pride flag by trans activists perfectly illustrates their conceited pettiness and exposes the fragile unity that underpins the entire LGBTQ+ community.

The cultural politics of identity is inherently narcissistic and divisive. Its outlook is dominated by the self-obsessed ethos of ‘it’s all about me’. And so it was only a matter of time before one section or another of the ever-expanding LGBTQ+ community started to demand a new version of the omnipresent rainbow flag. Why? Because apparently its colours do not adequately represent black, brown and transgender members of the LGBTQ community. The desire for a new version of the LGBTQ+ flag is motivated by the objective of carving out a larger cultural space and greater influence for transgender identity entrepreneurs. Sections of the transgender movement resent the dominance enjoyed by gay and lesbian activists over LGBTQ+ related institutions. In June, the Castro Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Cultural District (CQCD) in San Francisco became the scene of a veritable coup against old-school LGBTQ+ activists. It voted to recommend to the Castro Merchants, the business association that has jurisdiction over the area’s flagpoles, that it replace the original Pride flag in Harvey Milk Plaza with their new version of the flag, which they call the Progress Pride flag.


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