As I was scrolling through my Instagram Explore Page recently, I came across this image:

I was immediately struck by how powerful the image was, and I couldn’t help but want to share the image, along with my thoughts on why it is so moving, here.

So, why is this image able to move people so deeply? Well, the answer lies in the various networks of knowledge and information that we have created for ourselves.

I would argue that the average person would recognize the LGBTQ+ community as a marginalized one, both in America and across the world. Furthermore, I would argue that said person would know that the rainbow flag is used to represent this community. Furthermore, when this flag is flown high or made visible, it also represents one’s pride in identifying as a member or ally of the LGBTQ+ community.

However, not everyone is so open towards and accepting of the LGBTQ+ community, and many people act on their feelings of hatred. Such hatred can manifest itself as the use of a derogatory slur, acting violently towards a member of the LGBTQ+ community, or even burning a rainbow flag.

By combining these two images, the flying high of the rainbow flag that represents pride and a burnt rainbow flag that represents wanting to destroy that pride and attack the community it represents, a whole new depth of meaning is created. More specifically, the image communicates an enormous amount of strength and an incredible resilience on the part of the LGBTQ+ community; it tells viewers that no matter how much suffering, discrimination, and hatred they may have to face, the LGBTQ+ community will continue to have pride in itself; it informs people that members of the LGBTQ+ community are not going to stand up in the face of a discriminatory society only when it’s easiest; it declares to the world that no matter what others may do, LGBTQ+ identified people are not going anywhere. They are here, as they always have and will be, and refuse to be shoved into the dark corners of society.

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