yesterday, after some moving - heavy lifting, lots of jokes, and sweat - my dad, dad’s wife, and i sat down for a very late lunch/early dinner at a local restaurant. i recommended this place to my dad more than two years ago as a place where he an my grandparents could grab some comfort food - some food that felt like home - while i rested after an eventful morning surgery. anyway, he’s remembered the place and it was the one he chose as we nearly drove by yesterday in search of food.
while we sat there perusing the menu and waiting for an appetizer to arrive a pair of people walking the opposite direction - on the other side of the six-lane street walked by. each holding a pride flag. they looked happy and like they were having fun.
my dad casually looked to me and asked - “i’ve wondered, what are those rainbow flags about? what are they for?”
i said, it’s a “pride flag!” and he seemed satisfied with the answer - and maybe slightly embarrassed to have asked. he then said, “i wasn’t sure if it was for a country or some place or what.” and i replied again, “well, i suppose it’s for the land of unicorns…”
i’ve had a postcard of one in each of my homes for at least the last six years. i know he’s seen it before. but it made me realize that i probably take for-granted that my dad, while loving and accepting of me and all of my gayness, probably has no idea about some of the things that seem so fundamental to me.
fundamental maybe, but today i googled “pride flag” and it turns out there’s a long history i had never before cared (or had reason) to learn about.
wikipedia does a pretty thorough job!
The rainbow flag, commonly the gay pride flag and sometimes the LGBT pride flag, is a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) pride and LGBT social movements. It has been in use since the 1970s. (Other uses of rainbow flags include a symbol of peace.) The colors reflect the diversity of the LGBT community, and the flag is often used as a symbol of gay pride in LGBT rights marches. It originated in California, but is now used worldwide.
Designed by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker in 1978, the design has undergone several revisions to first remove then re-add colors due to widely available fabrics. As of 2008, the most common variant consists of six stripes, with the colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. The flag is commonly flown horizontally, with the red stripe on top, as it would be in a natural rainbow.
so i guess that all i’m saying is that it was a good lesson in humility on my part - on again realizing what it is that i take for-granted and on being open to constantly learning. i think sometimes i get frustrated and caught up in wondering why my dad isn’t more open to talking with me in greater detail about some of these parts of my life - but in fact, he just probably doesn’t have the experience or words or tools to do so.
stay open. keep learning. be you.
Other people act as our kindling. Love breeds love. It isn’t a finite resource that we need to hide away in the attic.