Canada will have its own LGBTI library by and for queer people of color

Two friends from Winnipeg, Canada, have created a space for all LGBTI people of color in their own city.

Renu Shonek and Carla Taylor have founded a library where all two-spirit, queer, trans and black, indigenous and people of color can feel represented.

The focus is on people of color

‘Representation is a huge [issue],’ Shonek told CBC Arts.

‘There’s a whole lot of people that we didn’t hear voices of, especially people of color and especially queer people of color. There’s a lot of people that didn’t have people to look towards.’

‘We’re focused 100% on people of color — the books, the poetry, the everything. [Usually] everywhere you go white people are heard, and POC aren’t,’ they add.

Those identifying as two-spirit are welcome

For Taylor, who identifies as two-spirit, making sure this specific identity is represented is especially important.

‘It was important to me personally because I am two-spirit,’ she explains.

‘It’s important to set this all up in a good way that honors the land that we’re on.’

Taylor also sees creating the library as a way to fight against the colonial structures limiting people like her.

‘As a two-spirit person, part of the whole idea of colonization is that it is set up to do exactly what it’s doing in the world: when a two-spirit or QTBIPOC does something, they’re doing it outside of the system. And so often they have to struggle to create anything, so it’s so important to create the spaces that we want.’

Where will the library be?

The library will be housed in Revolution Wellness Centre, the wellness center Taylor owns. Her clinic also offers trans health services.

‘So we’re a space for people who have maybe been discriminated against,’ she said.

‘This library really fit into the vision of the space: we really wanted to provide resource space to 2SQTBIPOC people.’

Shonek and Taylor are fundraising but assured that renovations should take place in spring.

Read also:

US to get new National LGBTQ Arts Center thanks to Gay Men’s Chorus


Author: Stefania Sarrubba

The post Canada will have its own LGBTI library by and for queer people of color appeared first on Gay Star News.

Manchester Pride adopts new rainbow flag with black and brown stripes

Original rainbow flag with additional stripes in Philadelphia

Manchester Pride is adopting a new rainbow flag for their celebrations and events this year. The new rainbow flag includes a black and brown stripe in acknowledgement of LGBTI people of color within the community.

The eight-stripe flag will be their official banner for all 2019 events.

First adopted by the city of Philadelphia in 2017, the flag is a variation of Gilbert Baker’s original rainbow flag. As the original adopters in Philadelphia explained, the expanded flag ‘to highlight black and brown LGBTQIA members within the city’s community’.

Manchester Pride organizers released a statement about their adoption of the new flag:

‘For many years, the LGBT+ community has collectively stood under the iconic six-stripe rainbow flag. But in the 40 years since its creation, the community has evolved into many facets, with each one creating and identifying with their own symbols and flags.’

Mark Fletcher, chief executive of Manchester Pride, added the flag must be a symbol that adapts to ‘reflect the modern society that we live in’.

He continued: ‘A lot has happened but there is still a long way to go, especially in the recognition of people of colour in the LGBT+ community.’

The event also released a new video about 2019 Pride:

‘Mine is the Pride, of a burning passion, a yearning inclusion of all,’ a voice says over the video. ‘We celebrate as one, campaigning, remembering, this battle’s not yet been won.’

The new eight-stripped flag can also be seen in the video,

It’s not the only change coming Manchester Pride’s way.

They also announced a change today to their musical format, including a new name and location. The event will now be known as Manchester Pride Live and take place at Mayfield, close to Piccadilly Station.

A controversial flag

Not everyone appreciates the new look to the rainbow flag.

A poll released last year showed that 58% of respondents don’t like the addition of the black and brown stripes. Most of this opposition came from gay men, particularly older men over 50.

White people also largely opposed the new stripes.

The people who approved the new stripes were mostly those between the ages of 18 and 29.

It’s also not the only change to the rainbow flag. A Puerto Rican artist last year unveiled a new form of the flag, acknowledging both people of color and trans people in the community. A church in Calgary flew this flag design in August.

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Author: Anya Crittenton

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