In a short time, Matthew Phy filled in the missing colors of Hillcrest.
In August San Diego Gay and Lesbian News ran a story about Matthew Phy who noticed that Hillcrest never flew a Bi Pride Flag.
But now, as San Diego kicks off Bisexual Awareness Week that omission has been amended by Phy and the Bi Pride Flag now flaps high above the bustling community.
We wanted to know exactly how Phy accomplished this in just a short period of time. We caught up with him following the news and he says it was amazing how the community came together for a common cause which surprised even him.
San Diego Gay and Lesbian News: Is this the first time a Bi Pride Flag has flown in Pride Plaza?
Matthew Phy: I believe so. The HBA approves all flags that fly over Hillcrest and they said that they had never flown a Bi Flag before.
Several HBA directors were surprised by this when I presented to them. They asked me why this had never been done before. I told them that I had asked that same question.
How does it feel for you to know the Bi Pride Flag will be raised?
I think it's exciting and will feel more real when the flag is raised on Monday to mark the beginning of 'BiWeek' or Bisexual Awareness Week.
Everybody should be proud to be who they are and recognize the groups that make up the LGBT is important. Bi-erasure and Biphobia are still huge problems in the world, especially within the LGBT community. More bi+ visibility is going to change that.
How hard was it to get the project done?
It wasn't as hard to raise the money for the flag as I thought it would be. While it wasn't thousands of dollars, I was still unsure how supportive the community would be.
Where did you get the flag; how much did it cost? Where did you get the funding?
Per Hillcrest Business Association (HBA) guidelines, the flag was purchased through Sunward Flag, a local company that does great work.
The ordering process and pick up could not have been simpler. The total came out to $428.85.
I'm extremely proud to say that raising the money was a collaborative effort between the Log Cabin Republicans of San Diego County, the San Diego Democrats for Equality, and The San Diego LGBT Center. This isn't a partisan project in any way and it was important for me to reach out to each group/organization. I think that working together and partnering with people who may have different views is more important than ever in our world today.
What does it mean for you and the community to have accomplished this?
For me, I feel like I was able to accomplish something small. I noticed the lack of visibility and recognition of the Bi+ community last year during this time and wrote about it in SDGLN. I'm glad that I followed through. It is easy to feel like your voice doesn't matter or to let the negative comments get to you. To be honest, the negative comments from people almost stopped me.
The recognition of BiWeek through this flag, should show anyone that is Bi+ that you are not alone.
I hope this inspires people. I hope it shows that Hillcrest continues to be at the forefront of LGBT rights and visibility.
I hope this makes Bi+ people in San Diego proud. I hope it makes them feel like they are an important part of the community.