NEW YORK — A recent poll done by Buzzfeed and Whitman Insight Strategies found that gay men and older members of the community were the most resistant to adding stripes to the Pride flag.
The poll, taken by 880 LGBT adults from around the United States, found that 58% oppose the new stripes, while 42% support the change. The largest blocs of opposition were found among gay men and those over 50, with both groups opposing the additional colors 70% to 30%. White LGBT people oppose the change 62% to 38%.
The research was conducted by Whitman Insight Strategies and BuzzFeed News as part of a larger LGBTQ survey on life, politics, and identity. The margin of error overall is plus or minus 3.3%.
People of color have been at the vanguard of LGBT political advocacy and culture for decades, and yet, they have long been denied full recognition — and representation — for their contributions. The 2015 movie Stonewall, for example, portrayed a white man at the genesis of the modern LGBT movement while downplaying people of color and transgender women. LGBT bars have also been accused of racial discrimination.
Activists have sought a visible statement of racial inclusion in the flag, which was created by the artist Gilbert Baker in 1978. The rainbow banner originally had two additional stripes — pink and turquoise — to represent sex and magic, respectively, but those colors were dropped over the years. Debate around adding a black and brown stripe flared in June 2017 when the city of Philadelphia flew the flag with a brown and black stripe at City Hall and promoted the message “More color, more pride.”
Many LGBT people support it. The survey found that LGBT people of color narrowly agree with updating the flag, 52% to 48%, while queer and transgender people support the change 64% and 69%, respectively.
The poll also found that younger members of the community were the most supportive of adding strips. 53% of LGBTQ people between the ages of 18 and 29 lean toward adding stripes to the Pride flag.