Flagged Down

The Rainbow Flag Is Too Gay For West Hollywood’s City Hall


One of the gayest cities in America just got a bit less gay.

Although as much as 40 percent of West Hollywood’s population identifies as gay or lesbian, the rainbow flag that has flown above City Hall has been removed.

In June of 2013, West Hollywood resident Larry Block suggested that the rainbow flag should join the United States, State of California, and City of West Hollywood flags hanging above city hall, and councilman Jeffrey Prang agreed.

Councilman John Duran, however, seems extremely concerned that West Hollywood is becoming known as a city that caters primarily to LGBT people.

At one meeting, he is quoted as saying that West Hollywood is “not just a city of gay men. It belongs to heterosexual people as well, and City Hall belongs to everybody in this community, gay or straight, and let’s not ever give the impression that City Hall has become exclusive to only one part of the West Hollywood community.”

Block, who actually donated the flag that hung briefly above city hall, isn’t amused. He sees the removal of the flag as just another example of the de-gaying of the city. “The shedding of the LGBT identity is happening slowly,” Block told the L.A. Times. “It’s going with development, straight business owners… There’s just a changing environment in West Hollywood.”

Though the environment may be changing just a bit, it is important to note that plenty of LGBT signifiers still exist in West Hollywood. There are still rainbow colored crosswalks at a few points in West Hollywood, and the door is still open for the flag to be flown at City Hall on special occasions.

Still, it’s hard not to see the removal of the flag as a troubling sign of the de-gaying of the major gay meccas.

Hopefully the flag can make a triumphant return to City Hall for LGBT Pride Month this summer.

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  • jimstoic

    The flag is a symbol of diversity and inclusion. It’s not intended to exclude heterosexuals.

  • robirob

    It’s the circle of gay life. As soon ‘the gays’ upper-fixed an area the straight families and businessmen show up, take over and ‘the gays’ get their walking papers.

  • Ann Mason

    @jimstoic: You’re absolutely right. The original flag contained eight colors (pink and turquoise were removed soon after it was created, although in the past few years I’ve seen a few with all eight colors). Each signified an aspect of the human spirit.

    The rainbow flag was intended as a symbol of the LGBT movement because it represented universality. The goal of the movement is for LGBT individuals to be accepted into the mainstream.

    Okay, on one hand it’s a “gay” symbol. However, it also serves as an attractive reminder that the most basic and important aspects of being human go way beyond sexual orientation.

  • Spike

    John Duran is running for a County Supervisors seat, he doesn’t want to be seen as the GAY candidate.


    The City Council should remember who worked so hard to make West Hollywood happen. Without the work of the first candidates, it would be a little strip of L.A. County without it’s own identity.

  • KDub

    Never cared for the rainbow as a symbol for homosexuality. It’s just so stereotypically gay. Plus, I don’t think the gay community is anywhere near as inclusive as it likes to tout itself. In fact, it’s quite compartmentalized. Gay guys are always chewing out bi guys or trying to make closeted guys feel like they’re awful people. Lesbians hardly get any run time at all, and no one’s really trying to claim trans. It’s all just so fake.

  • Joincny

    @KDub: Kdub, stereotypically gay? your self loathing is showing.

  • Spike

    @KDub: It’s called survival of the fittest. If LGBT rights were to be left up to bi guys, closeted guys, lesbians and trans, where would we be? Go on hating yourself but it’s the gays that have carried the torch of civil rights from day one, and continue too.

  • Bob LaBlah

    What I love about the Rainbow flag is how it does what it was intended to do: represent gays. It is our identity. I am not surprised at all to NOT see outrage about its removal considering how gay marriage has made many gay people (looking for more inclusion into the main stream at the cost of its symbols) not care anymore.

  • tomron

    I love and am proud of the rainbow flag. Having said that, I’m afraid I agree with John Duran from the perspective of equal rights. I hate to compare this with the right of non religious or people of other faiths to object to religious state supported monuments, etc., but there really is some comparison. Yes, W. Hollywood is is VERY largely gay, and I believe that part of the population has done much to make it a super city. However, we CAN’T forget about the other 60% of residents, who may be gay supportive or not, but do deserve not to be “lumped” with OUR pride.
    And, I further don’t think being for the removal of the flag should be labeled as “self-loathing”, nor as just another political ploy. It’s merely an attempt to right a wrong as they see it.

  • Kaaper

    I am a gay man and there is only ONE flag that I claim. That is the American flag. The rainbow flag is nice, but I don’t identify with it. I think it is an individual thing, and if individuals wish to fly it, I’m all for it. But I don’t think a government entity should do so. Next thing you know, the straight pride people will want their flag up also. And there is the trans flag as well. Being gay is part of who I am, just as my blue eyes are. But neither fully identifies me as an individual. I am more than that. We all are.

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