Now, don’t get me wrong I think it’s a powerful and considerate gesture. LGBTQ+ people of colour often don’t get the representation which should be justly afforded to them, especially when considered in relation to their white majority counterparts. That said, however, this gesture, in my view is a misguided attempt to hamfistedly and overtly show minority ethnic support to the pride movement.
Manchester pride adding these stripes to include their minority ethnic cousins is problematic when we look at the systemic issue pride attempt to tackle. In their mission to support LGBTQ+ people when it comes to their marital rights, their property rights and even their right to simply not be discriminated against I think we can all agree that Pride should not even need to factor in what colour those LGBTQ+ people are. Especially not Manchester pride, a city which is renowned especially following last year’s terror attacks, for already being a multicultural melting pot of love and acceptance which we should all aspire to emulate already.
By adding these stripes and singling out the Minority ethnic LGBTQ+ people, could it not be argued that previously pride has been failing their minority, ethnic supporters and are attempting to make reparations for it now in an overt gesture. Where actually, such a gesture isn’t necessary because the Pride movement and their iconic rainbow flag already represent inclusion and acceptance of all LGBTQ+ people under that one banner.
All of this is not to mention the fact that black and minority ethnic individuals, both within the LGBTQ+ community and otherwise face a wealth of challenges and racially charged obstacles that are endemic in our society. By adding them to the flag Manchester Pride could be making an important show of solidarity with them in that these two minority groups that face discrimination are banding together to help combat such negative sentiment towards them. Or, it could minimise the unique and often brutal treatment that some minority ethnic individuals face in society by equating their struggles to the struggles of the LGBTQ+ community.
In actual fact, while they are both vitally important groups in society who need more representation and less discrimination, the challenges faced by each group are, and should remain, distinct so that people like me who wish to help champion both causes can begin to learn about the intricate and layered battles which each group individually has to face. By remaining distinct but allied causes, people can be educated fully to overcome their ignorance of what amounts to separate issues.
At the end of the day, the point I am making is not that pride shouldn’t be accepting or aware of minority groups within their own LGBTQ+ Umbrella. They should, however, remain conscious of the fact that by making an overt and ham-handed gesture of solidarity, they might accidentally blur the subtle intricacies of the additional challenges members of those minority groups face and actually make it harder to combat the ignorance that leads to discrimination.