Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-12-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

Musings on Flags; Mexican, U.S., Rainbow …
by Tania Unzueta Carrasco
2006-05-01

This article shared 3219 times since Mon May 1, 2006
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


PHOTOS: SAN DIEGO—In one of the largest demonstrations in the city's history, 50,000 mostly Latino marchers clogged downtown April 9 demanding immigration reform and denouncing legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives that would make it a felony to be in the U.S. illegally. Photo by Rex Wockner

I put the flag in my bag the night before. The plan was to get to the march and, using the opportunity that I had in being one of the speakers, show that in all movements the queer community is present, active and important.

That morning, hundreds of thousands of immigrants took to the streets to demand immigration reform and the repeal of House Bill 4437, which would criminalize all undocumented immigrants as well as all who help them. In Chicago, most of them carried Mexican and U.S. flags; there were a couple Polish, Irish and Latin-American flags also.

And these flags have become important symbols. In a meeting held by the group of organizations that formed after the protest to continue the work, there was a bit of strife when someone suggested that the community should be encouraged to carry U.S. flags only. It was argued that in this way the community could show that 'we are Americans too.' The other side argued that immigrants should have rights, regardless of whether we identify as 'American.'

The debate is national. In April, schools in Colorado and Utah temporarily prohibited the carrying of flags or clothing with flags of any nationality to school. As students were increasingly manifesting their feelings on immigration, they had affected 'the harmony of the school,' as one school official described.

The Colorado Senate passed a bill later that month—which, at the time I'm writing this column, remains a bill—that would only allow the display of U.S. flags inside schools in 'a respectful manner.' In addition, Senator Tom Wiens, one of the supporters of this bill, said that the presence of Mexican flags 'devalues the greatness of this country and what it means to be a citizen of this country.'

Even the Associated Press ( AP ) ran a story entitled 'Latin American flags, pride or disloyalty?'

And that is how I felt on that morning when I was trying to decide whether to wear my rainbow flag. To me it was about pride, inclusion and visibility. But as I stood there in the middle of Jackson Street, looking west at the mass of people approaching, I wondered if my flag would not be seen as a sign of disloyalty, of separatism.

When I reached Federal Plaza, there were already hundreds there, waiting. I went to the stage area and stood up on one of those cement blocks on the north side of the plaza.

As I was looking out, contemplating the historical significance of the moment, there was a wave of commotion. And suddenly, standing right next to me, was the infamous Spanish-language radio show host 'El Pistolero.'

El Pistolero is credited with being responsible for at least some of the massive numbers of people who showed up that day. He is also well known to be a sexist, homophobic person who did not become involved in politics until recently. Last year the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation had a campaign directed at him for the language and jokes he used on the air. After the march, women's groups made declarations against him. His response? It's entertainment and the people respond.

So when he was standing next to me, smiling and waving at people, I reached into my bookbag and took out my rainbow flag. I don't know how many people saw it, or if they even knew what it meant. But I felt so defiant at that moment.

I wore that flag throughout the event. It was worth it when some told me that they saw it on TV or from the crowd, and felt happy even though they didn't know it was me. It was worth it when a family friend and organizer walked up to me and put his arm around me and said 'We made it' as we stood there together facing the crowd.

'The Mexican flag is like a symbol of dignity, identity and pride for the people who carry it,' said labor activist Dolores Huerta, as reported in that AP story—a quote that I like to apply to my rainbow flag.


This article shared 3219 times since Mon May 1, 2006
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

NATIONAL Utah board member, Baths founder dies, Fla. protests, DoJ equity plan
2024-02-16
Utah's Republican governor and lieutenant governor urged the State Board of Education to take action against a conservative board member whose social-media post questioning the gender of a high school basketball player incited threats against the ...


Gay News

Judge rules city's rejection of protest permit around DNC was justified
2024-02-01
A judge upheld the city's denial of protest permits for a march around the Democratic National Convention this fall after an appeal from its organizers. A coalition of groups under the banner of Bodies Outside of ...


Gay News

LGBTQ+, reproductive rights organizers plan march on Democratic National Convention, appeal permit rejection
2024-01-31
Organizers planning a protest march outside the Democratic National Convention in August are appealing the city's denial of their permits. The group of organizers under the banner of Bodies Outside of Unjust Laws had been planning ...


Gay News

Scott Free's new album revives protest music for the modern era
2024-01-09
By Alec Karam - Gay Chicago musician Scott Free wants to bring protest music back to the mainstream. With his new album Songs to Fight Oppression, Free has unveiled several new sing-along social justice songs to accompany protests, or simply ...


Gay News

In D.C., Black LGBTQ+ lawmakers protest Nigerian wedding arrests
2023-09-14
On Sept. 12, Black LGBTQ+ lawmakers—led by Maryland state Del. Gabriel Acevero and D.C. Councilmember Zachary Parker, and alongside the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) and other advocacy groups—protested outside ...


Gay News

Protest action to be held at site of Sept. 9 Jason Aldean concert in Tinley Park
2023-09-08
The Revolution Club Chicago has announced a protest action against 46- year-old country music star and Nashville resident Jason Aldean outside of his Highway Desperado Tour appearance Sept. 9 at Credit Union 1 Amphitheatre. The protest ...


Gay News

Lawsuits filed against USCIS for failing to hear Ukrainian, Russian LGBTQ asylum claims
2023-08-02
--From a press release - NEW YORK, NY — Legal Services NYC and Wilmer Hale announce two new lawsuits against the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of two LGBTQ asylum seekers, one from Russia and another from ...


Gay News

Large mob storms Pride event in Eurasian country of Georgia
2023-07-09
On July 8, hundreds of counterprotesters stormed Georgia's annual LGBTQ+ Pride festival in the capital of Tbilisi, causing authorities to evacuate the event, Politico reported. In a statement, Tbilisi Pride organizers said they had been forced ...


Gay News

Chicago activists counter-protest Rally for Life event
2023-06-24
Chicago pro-choice activists attended a counter-protest of a pro-life rally marking the one-year anniversary of the overturning of Roe v. Wade on June 24. The counter-protest was organized by a coalition of organizations, including Stop Trans ...


Gay News

LGBTQ, women's rights supporters to protest for civil rights in Chicago June 24
2023-06-12
--From a joint press release - On the anniversary of the Supreme Court's Dobbs anti-abortion decision, with a major anti-LGBTQ decision expected this month, and hundreds of anti-LGBTQ bills pending in statehouses around the nation, organizers vow a rebirth of the spirit ...


Gay News

Violent clash takes place at Calif. school-board meeting over LGBTQ+ rights
2023-06-07
On June 6, protesters clashed and fights erupted outside a meeting of the Glendale Unified School District board, which was scheduled to vote on recognizing June as Pride Month, ABC7 reported. After the skirmishes, police in ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Alabama protest, antibiotic, bi politician, high-school musicals, Key West
2023-05-12
Alabama LGBTQ Action is urging the LGBTQ+ community and allies to join the group at a march on the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery on Tuesday, May 16, to demand equal rights for all state residents, ...


Gay News

WORLD Hungarian law, French official, anti-Uganda protest, Rahm Emanuel
2023-04-14
Germany and France are joining the EU Commission's infringement proceedings against Hungary over its anti-LGBTQ+ law, according to NBC News. The European Commission referred Hungary to the Court of Justice of the EU in mid-2022 over ...


Gay News

NATIONAL 'Don't Say Gay,' anti-trans bills, gay Irish leader visits, gay Calif. mayor
2023-03-25
In Indiana, approximately 100 students from the Center For Inquiry School 27 held a walk-out to protest the state's "Don't Say Gay" bill, which would restrict how teachers are able to discuss sexual orientation or gender ...


Gay News

Protest held outside New Life Covenant Church over alleged anti-LGBTQ practices
2023-03-13
Now-former New Life Covenant Church parishioner Rosaly Andino, who is a lesbian, and her allies gathered across the street from the church in the Humboldt Park neighborhood March 12 to protest alleged anti-LGBTQ practices by Pastor David Marrero. ...


 


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.