“Justice Alito’s Wife, in Secretly Recorded Conversation, Complains About Pride Flag”Headline from the New York Times, 6/10/24

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Dear Martha-Ann,

I can’t say that I expected to hear from you during Pride month. So, imagine my surprise when, this week, you spilled to an undercover reporter that you’ve been feeling a little left out. It tugs at my heartstrings that you plan to stare wistfully “across the lagoon at the Pride flag for the next month” like some backward Jay Gatsby who has never been invited to a party and whose Daisy currently has her tongue down Jordan Baker’s throat.

I’m writing to apologize on behalf of the entire community for neglecting you and to offer some feedback on your design for a new Pride flag. You were recorded describing it as “white [with] yellow and orange flames around it. And in the middle is the word ‘vergogna.’ ‘Vergogna’ in Italian means shame.”

Okay. I have some thoughts:

  • First off, snaps for cultural competency. If queer people love anything, it’s a fucking flag. (Literally. We’ve been known to carry them around in our back pockets.) From one flag-lover to another, it’s devastating to hear that your husband isn’t supportive. He sounds kind of flag-phobic.
  • Back to your flag: your use of the fire emoji is on point.
  • Honestly, your design is so strong that pairing it with your “Sacred Heart of Jesus” flag seems like gilding the lily. But it’s sweet that you want to honor the gay community’s historic situationship with the Catholic Church.
  • Speaking of which, I’m here for “Italians on hot mics” as this year’s Pride theme. It’s giving Pope Francis. One complaint: Couldn’t you two have staggered the merch rollout? I just shelled out for a THAT’S THAT ME FROCIAGGINE crop top, and now you’re hitting me with this. Corporate Pride is so expensive.
  • And that brings us to “vergogna.” You are not the first person to look at the LGBTQIA+ community and try to hand us a symbol of shame. And whether we’re talking about a pink triangle or an unprintable slur, we always manage to take the hateful thing you created and make it our own. A badge of honor. You see, Martha-Ann, to us, “pride” is not another word for ego—it’s an act of defiance. It’s laughing through broken teeth. It’s about endurance, love, and solidarity with anyone who has been deemed unworthy to exist. And it’s about celebrating the fact that we’ve always been here and will continue to be here long after you’re gone.

So, go out on your back porch and fly your white flag. You’re fighting a losing battle. Besides, we already took all the colors.

Senza vergogna,