The Rainbow Connection

My gratitude for the little rainbow sticker you bothered to put on your car. #MayIWrite — Day 25

From the mid-nineties when I first came out, I have been very aware of the presence of the pride flag in the world around me. At the time, the fashion was to wear a black corded necklace with 6 shiny beads each separated by a silver one, either from red to purple or purple to red depending on whether you were showing your gay or lesbian pride.

Remember these???

By the late nineties I would spot a pride sticker on the back of a car from time to time — either a thin stripe or a wiggly rainbow line. Sometimes this made a car into a target. I always thought it was so brave when I saw these stickers. My girlfriend wouldn’t put one on her vehicle because she didn’t want it (or herself) to be attacked.

To this day, even though the wider social culture has shifted drastically in terms of LGBTQ2SIA… people (though I must of course acknowledge that this shift is not unanimous and I feel the effect of my racial and geographic privilege here), I get a warm heart when I see pride stickers or flags anywhere. Detractors of city-funded fixtures like the rainbow crosswalks now in a couple of locations in my city, can’t understand how meaningful that kind of representation is. Homophobia is alive and well, even in my city which has a statistically larger than average queer population. It means a lot to me to experience that visibility right on my city’s street.

I have two pride stickers on my own vehicle now. It’s not so hard to come by this sense of community visibility anymore, now that many stores and businesses (in my area) boast rainbow stickers on their doors to show that they celebrate diversity. Still, it feels good to be part of that visibility.

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