Celebrating Pride and the significance of the Rainbow Flag

For more than 20 years, the rainbow Pride flag has flown high above San Francisco's Castro District. 

For some it’s a symbol of love, hope and a sense of belonging.

"I identify as genderqueer so being in this part of the city makes me feel really loved and really accepting, which is not a feeling I get very often," says Natalina Frederick of Mill Valley.  

"The flag itself. The way it’s designed; all six colors, they reflect an inclusively," says Judd Ziebell of San Francisco.  

However, others want to exclude the Pride flag. Recently we've seen Bay Area politicians and others say they don't want it flying over their city. Others say celebrating Pride for a month is way too long.  

Those in the LGBTQ+ community say the focus should be on the message and they won't be forgotten. 

"It's when we really celebrate our identities. We celebrate the struggle that our community has gone through. We celebrate our history," says SF LGBT Center Deputy Executive Director Roberto Ordeñana.

"We have been here forever and people constantly try to erase us from history," says Frederick.  

The people we spoke with say disputes over not flying the Pride flag or celebrating Pride month are political issues. Instead, they wish people would pay more attention to what each represents instead of trying to put them back in the closet. 

"Some of that is driven by a current president who is a hater and a divider instead of someone who attempts to bring people together," says Ziebell.  

With some Bay Area cities still debating flying the flag, members of the LGBTQ+ community look at the conversation as a sense of encouragement as allies’ rally together to support those left out. 

"They may have voted not to fly the flag, but that encouraged a whole bunch of people in the community to fly their own flag. It doesn't matter if you don't fly the flag for me downtown when I can fly it in my own window and I got it in my heart," says Mark Wilson, Adjunct Professor St. Mary's College.

"I just think we want to be accepted without any special privileges but without the denial of any," says Ziebell.

San Francisco Pride: Generations of Resistance is June 28 & 29