U.S. diplomats have found ways to work around the Trump administration’s ban on flying Pride flags outside U.S. embassies.
Unlike in years past, the State Department has rejected all embassy requests to hoist the rainbow flag on poles alongside the American flag in celebration of Pride Month.
“This is a category one insurrection,” one diplomat told The Washington Post, speaking on conditions of anonymity for fear of being fired.
The embassies in Seoul, South Korea and Chennai, India are partially covered by the Pride flag, affixed to the facades of the buildings.
“This is the month where we’re reminded that all of us are born equal in rights and dignity, and that governments have an obligation to protect the rights and dignity of all citizens; to protect people from violence and discrimination,” said Consul General Roger Burgess, in a video of the flag raising posted to YouTube.
The embassy in New Delhi, meanwhile, has been lit up in rainbow lights, as seen on its Twitter account, and pictured below.
Individual diplomats are also finding ways to show their support, like Ambassador Randy Berry, who posted a photo of himself surrounded by staff and rainbow colored balloons that spell out “Pride 19.”
Today, along with the U.S. Mission in Nepal community, I join people around the world in celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, & Intersex #PrideMonth, and reaffirm the U.S. commitment to defending human rights for all. #Pride2019 pic.twitter.com/5awKWtcP80
— Ambassador Randy Berry (@USAmbNepal) June 1, 2019
While this is the first year Trump has recognized Pride Month, after having failed to do so in 2017 and 2018, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did not issue a Pride Month statement, as he did last year.
Advocates have noted Trump’s recognition of Pride Month stands in stark contrast to his administration’s continued actions targeting the LGBTQ community, bringing doubts of his sincerity.
The move to banish Pride flags from flying over embassies does, however, track with Trump being seemingly unaware of his administration’s stated mission to work towards the decriminalization of homosexuality worldwide when asked about it by a reporter earlier this year.
This is also not the first time the administration has taken steps to separate itself from the Pride flag.
In 2017, when the Stonewall Inn was honored as a national monument, it reversed course on what would have been the first instance of the Pride flag flying over federally funded land, and the first time the National Park Service would be responsible for its care.