GAY BETSY ROSS

A group of historians credit Betsy Ross with making the first American flag. Questionable. Another group say she had nothing to do with the flag.

That group claims Betsy was the madam of a house of ill repute. She and her girls purported to be seamstresses as a cover. The girls would sit around waiting for men to take them to a back room for pay and play.

When the history of the flag was first being written, the writer was in a quandary as to who actually made the flag. No one knew. One of those he was talking with said Betsy Ross, the seamstress. He was joking.

Whatever, the Betsy Ross and flag story stuck. To this day, most believe it.

What does this have to do with the Gay Betsy Ross? Nothing actually. Except for name application. The maker of the Key West Pride Flag has become known as the Gay Betsy Ross.

Gilbert Baker was gay. Proud and open about it.

The time 1978.

Harvey Milk was the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Milk was assassinated the same year.

Gilbert Baker a Key Wester at the time. He created the Rainbow Flag. A big one! More than a mile long. Intended to symbolize diversity and equality, as well as in memory of Milk.

The flag covered the entire length of Duval Street from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico.

2003 found Key West celebrating the 25th anniversary of the flag. Known also by that time as the Sea to Sea Diversity Flag.

The flag first as a whole and now in parts has become an integral part of today’s Pride Parade.

Mayor Craig Cates has named June 15th as Gilbert Baker Day in honor of his creating the flag.

There are two parades today. Immediately following the Pride Parade, the Florida Keys Women’s March for Equality will parade down to Duval. Actual title of the parade: Equality March and Rally for Unity and Pride.

The Women’s Parade is a grass roots movement being held today. Across 110 cities world wide. Cities where women support LGBTQ+ individuals.

As mentioned, Harvey Milk inspired Baker to make the flag. Milk’s nephew Stuart Milk will speak at St. Paul’s today at the conclusion of the Women’s Parade.

Dinner with Donna and Terri last night at Tavern ‘n Town. Today, they both will be watching/participating in the parades.

Lynda and Bob Frechette at the bar. They leave Key West Tuesday for the summer. Great people. Good friends. Love them both. I will see them one last time Monday night at Dueling Bartenders. Terri is guest performer. They will be there supporting Terri.

Bobby Nesbitt performed last night. He leaves today for New York City. A week of Broadway shows. He mentioned looking forward to seeing Hello Dolly, Hamilton, and Sunset Boulevard, amongst others.

Chatted briefly with Dennis the Manager. He does his job well.

Donna, Terri and I were at the bar a long time. May have been the last to leave. The time well spent laughing at one story after another. Including one involving Patrick and Terri at Rosie’s in the Village many years ago.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

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