This June, Provincetown Pride will celebrate its 5th anniversary. To commemorate Ptown’s dedication to being a community that is open and accepting of all, the Provincetown Business Guild has partnered with The Gilbert Baker Foundation to present In Their Own Voices, a FREE public display of 8 LGBTQ+ Community Pride Flags with stories of the creators, inspiration and meaning behind each of these iconic symbols. This display can be seen on the East Lawn of Provincetown Town Hall (260 Commercial Street) daily from 9a until 5p, June 3rd – June 5th.
As the president of the Gilbert Baker Foundation, I am often asked about the amazing proliferation of other community flags that have appeared since Gilbert Baker and a diverse group of radical activists created the Rainbow Flag in 1978. People often ask me, “What flag should I fly?” The short answer is “Fly the flag that speaks to your soul. There is room in the sky for all of them.” Thirty years ago, AIDS ravaged our community. But we did not give up. The various individuals and groups that make up the global LGBTQ+ family banded together and fought back against the tragedy and injustice of the AIDS epidemic, and the Rainbow Flag was the banner we rallied under.
Across the nation and around the world, people have continued the fight for justice. We have made great strides, but the forces of hatred and intolerance persist. In many parts of the world —from Poland to Russia to Iran to Uganda to Indonesia—simply owning the Pride flag can and does result in torture, imprisonment, and murder. Still, people defiantly march on under the Rainbow. Even as we make great strides at home, the forces of hatred and intolerance, which sadly include members of our own community, have refocused their efforts to deprive our Black, brown, and Trans siblings of their rights and dignity. Like Gilbert Baker before them, our artists have responded by creating new, powerful flags to rally the community towards positive change.
When George Floyd was murdered, we picked up Amber Hikes’ powerful More Colors flag and rallied to fight back. When dozens of trans people of color were brutally murdered across this country, we picked up Dan Quasar’s expansive Progress flag and marched in the streets to let the world know that we will not stand for this. Even as we celebrate the lifting of the trans ban in the military, 30 states are considering legislation to deprive trans people of their rights and dignity. People of all stripes are rallying around the mighty Monica Helms’ Transgender Pride Flag to fight back.
In this exhibit IN THEIR OWN VOICES, we asked the creators of some of the most significant Pride Flags to share the history, inspiration for, and meaning of, their creations. All of these flags are beautiful and deserve to be flying high, whether at a protest march or on your front porch. We at the Gilbert Baker Foundation are proud that they were all born of the original Rainbow Flag.
— Charles Beal | President, Gilbert Baker Foundation
This exhibition is being made possible thanks to the generous support of these community partners.
To learn more about Provincetown Pride 2022, visit Ptown.org/Pride.