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Gilbert Baker
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    (June 2, 1951-March 31, 2017)
    Born in Chanute, Kansas
    Member of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
    Flag designer
    Created the rainbow flag for the LGBT rights movement (1978)
    He said he learned to sew in the early 70s because ‘I [had] to look like Mick Jagger and David Bowie every single second.’
    He performed as a drag queen under the name ‘Busty Ross.’
    His rainbow flag originally had eight stripes, but lost the top hot pink stripe because the fabric was too expensive for mass production, then lost the indigo stripe to make an even number when the organizers of the 1979 Gay Freedom Day Parade wanted to split the flag in two and fly different halves on each side of San Francisco’s Market Street.
    When he was drafted and sent to Vietnam, his commanding officers threatened him with violence. (Until he was reassigned as a nurse and sent to San Francisco.)
    He refused to trademark the rainbow flag, saying ‘It’s my gift to the world.’
    He sewed the rainbow flags featured in the movie ‘Milk’ and the miniseries ‘When We Rise.’
    Author Cleve Jones said of the rainbow flag ‘It’s an example of how one person can have an amazing and brilliant idea that reaches not just millions, but hundreds of millions of people.’

Credit: C. Fishel

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