Every other letter in the LGBT acronym is represented on the flag pole except one.
Pride Plaza stands tall, watching over Hillcrest and the LGBT community with its many flags. But there is one that is missing and Matthew Phy hopes to change that.
Matthew has lived in San Diego for nearly three years, moving here for a job as a political director on a congressional campaign. Like a lot of people, he says he liked the city so much he decided to stay.
Even though he loves Hillcrest and everything that it represents in the LGBT community it's still missing some colors, especially come fall.
“Since I have been in San Diego, I've seen the LGBT Pride Flag, the Marriage Equality Flag, the Transgender Pride Flag, and the Leather Pride flag flying in Hillcrest,” he said. “Last September, when it was Bisexual Awareness Week, I was disappointed to see that the Bisexual Pride flag was never flown. I wanted to make sure that wouldn't happen again.”
Matthew fears the “B” in LGBT is becoming just another letter. He doesn’t want those who identify as bisexual to feel ashamed of their identities and bringing a Bi Pride flag to Hillcrest would give them a feeling of inclusion, "with a voice and a place at the table," he adds.
He claims the flag would represent about half of the community, citing a Williams Institute and HRC research project which says 50-percent of gays and lesbians are bisexual, “This makes the bisexual population the single largest group within the LGBTQ community.”
Some might wonder why no one has thought of this before. Matthew thinks it’s out of fear of being marginalized.
“Many bisexual individuals already feel ostracized," he explains. "They are even scared to identify as such because they don't feel welcome in the LGBT community. That's a sad reality but something that is very prevalent, even still today. We can change that.”
With this fear also comes another challenge; to convince the LGBT community that this is a cause worth recognizing.
“I've faced adversity as a bisexual man with people saying that bisexuality doesn't exist, that I'm confused, the list goes on. Every day is a challenge when you're an out, proud, bisexual person.”
The next question is about cost. Unfortunately, a flag will have to be custom made. Matthew says he got an estimate that was just over $400.
He is going to ask for assistance from his political affiliation.
“I am taking the issue to the Board of the Log Cabin Republicans--which I sit on--and am hoping to gain their support to set up a GoFundMe. We are also exploring collaborating with another organization(s) in the area.”
The Hillcrest Business Association controls the Pride flagpole, but Matthew doesn't expect any problems with getting their approval. He will attend a meeting with them next week to discuss the project.
He says the public can also help by donating to The GoFundMe page HERE.
Correcting the absence of the flag over Hillcrest may be a daunting task with a few hurdles, but Matthew says whatever pushback he may face getting it raised in Pride Plaza is worth it in the long run.
"If it could make just one bisexual person feel proud, feel included, and feel accepted, then it's worth it," he said.