Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Defending the Rainbow

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Defending the Rainbow

Article excerpt

Every year at Montclair State University in New Jersey we hold a flag-raising ceremony on National Coming Out Day. A rainbow flag is raised along with the state and national flags. This year I had the honor of speaking. There I stood on a beautiful Monday afternoon in the center of all three flags, addressing a crowd of students, faculty, family, and friends.

A few days prior, a friend asked me, "You don't have one of those rainbow stickers on your car bumper, do you?" I told her I didn't.

"I don't understand why they do that, like it's an advertisement," my friend continued. "It's like they're flaunting it. I mean, why do they think everyone needs to know?"

I didn't respond. My friend moved on to another subject while I sat there baffled by what she had said. But it gave me the inspiration for my Coming Out Day speech. For me, the rainbow flag is not an emblem of exploitation or sexual prowess. …

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