Rebranding: Gay = Equality,
Rainbow = Blue
Rainbow = Blue
Gay, the word we fought so hard and long to be adopted as our chosen group designation, has been made obsolete by Gay Inc and the expanding network of state orgs. Why did we picket the NY Times for years over their refusal to describe us as gay, only to run away from the word in our political battles of the new century?
Witness the creation in the past 10-12 years of statewide groups omitting gay from their names, and instead pretty much uniformly substituting equality, sometimes fairness, or in New York, pride, for gay.
One reason why I feel so little connection to Equality California, and the like, starts with the name. As a veteran gay community organizer, I still see the need and value to always putting gay visibility as the central value to our battles, and the equality mentality simply doesn't engage my gay sensibility. What equality for Gay Inc really equals is blandness, a muting of our eccentric and colorful nature as queers.
Then there's the ugly predominance of dark blue in the imagery of the equality orgs. Though the pink triangle and the rainbow flag have been overused and overmarketed, on occasion, they are easily recognizable brands of ID that we have worn with pride for decades. However, they're too problematic for equality orgs, who studiously avoid using the well established symbols.
The hope in the bright array of colors of the rainbow and pink triangle have been consiged to the dustbin of homosexual history. A rebranding of the gay community, the LGBT movement, and our shared symbols occurred I don't recall receiving an invitation to vote on that.
I'm not saying if the state orgs evolved to say gay in their namea and incorporated at least the rainbow flag in signage, that we'd have more tangible political achievements in hand. But if we did, it would represent a first step in a re-engagement with the large portion of the LGBT community that doesn't bond to empty equality and fairness arguments.
Putting gay and rainbow imagery back into our community's branding could also go far in better engaging the wider straight American public, that is comfortable discussing gay issues without first being re-educated with de-gayed equality lingo or somber blue designs.
Here are prime examples of logos and and signage that don't speak to my gay identity: