David Nash / Southside BID

The design was based on more inclusive versions of the Pride flag.

Birmingham has unveiled a new #CrossWithPride rainbow crossing, based on the more inclusive Progress flag, which includes Black and brown stripes, as well as the trans flag.

The crossing is in Hurst Street, in Birmingham’s Southside, which is home to its gay quarter. The crossing was originally going to be unveiled at Birmingham Pride this year, but the physical event was cancelled, with a digital one taking place, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The crossing was designed by James Cowper and Matthew Stephens, who also perform as the drag queens Gavina and Blanche respectively. James said that the crossing brought a “burst of positivity” adding that “the paint has sat in my dining room for months.”

James added that the flag also accurately represented the drag scene in Birmingham, explaining: “We not only have drag queens and drag kings, but bio queens and members of the trans community as well as people of colour – that’s why Birmingham’s drag scene is so fantastic.”

The rainbow crossing was given the go-ahead by Southside district manager Julia Robertson, who said: “Southside District is famous for our incredible Gay Village and we’ve been planning our rainbow crossing for some time.

“Originally it was going to be unveiled as part of Birmingham’s annual Pride Festival, but as the event was cancelled, we wanted to push ahead with it this summer so that people can cross with pride in Southside.

“Each of the colours represents a different part of the LGBTQ+ community, demonstrating our solidarity with everyone who comes to enjoy themselves in our fabulous and inclusive district.”

The Pride flag has recently started becoming more inclusive of other parts of the LGBTQ+ community, and these versions are slowly becoming more widespread. Celebrating London Pride Week this year, Hackney Town Hall flew the more inclusive version.

Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney, said raising flag for the first time “adds vital visibility to our borough’s commitment to equality, especially when trans rights are under attack and we need to reiterate that all LGBTQI+ Black Lives Matter.”

He explained further: “We know how important our cultural spaces and health resources are to our LGBTQI+ residents and acknowledge the threat they now face. This is why we’ll use our online resources to support and signpost the important work they do, alongside the excellent program of events at Pride Inside.”