The bold political move was inspired by activists halfway around the world in Philadelphia who included similar stripes on a pride flag at this year’s Philly Pride to highlight LGBT people of color within the fight for queer rights.
In the States, the choice proved controversial, with some highlighting the updated symbol’s divisive nature. For the board of directors at the Victorian Pride Centre, however, the decision was an easy one:
“The [LGBT] community has been a major beneficiary of increasing public support for diversity and inclusion,” wrote Margaret Hansford, a board member at the center. “We need to be leaders in continuing to identify and welcome groups who feel, or are in fact, excluded from our community…[Aboriginal and indigenous LGBT people] face severe and ongoing discrimination and oppression, and we want our ’welcome mat’ to have a specific ’hello’ for them.”
The center, which is currently under development, was funded by a $15 million grant from the state’s government. It will be located in St. Kilda, a suburb outside of Melbourne. As of today’s date, there is no scheduled opening date for the center.