Rainbow Flag Creator Remembered

Christopher Park, across the street from the Stonewall Inn and home to the Stonewall National Monument, is festooned with Rainbow Flags.
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As global attention focuses on New York with the 50th anniversary of Stonewall and the WorldPride celebrations scheduled to coincide, the creator of the Rainbow Flag is finally getting his say with the posthumous release of Gilbert Baker’s “Rainbow Warrior: My Life in Color.” The publication early this month by Chicago Review Press, with a foreword by “Milk” screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, was a labor of love by Charley Beal, manager of the Gilbert Baker Estate, and his colleague there Jay Blotcher.

Steven Love Menendez took the lead in organizing the Rainbow Flag decoration of Christopher Park for the second year running.
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Several events, both literary and activist, have taken place in recent weeks to honor the memory of Baker, who died at age 65, in March 2017, as well as the book’s launch.

Gilbert Baker’s memoir was released on June 4.
CHICAGO REVIEW PRESS

On May 31, for the second year in a row, Steven Love Menendez led a group of activists, joined by Jamie Adams, the out lesbian park ranger that oversees the Stonewall National Monument, in decorating the wrought iron fence around Christopher Park, the site of the Monument, with a blizzard of Rainbow Flags.

Longtime activist Jim Fouratt was also on hand to pitch in on May 31.
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The following day, Beal was on hand to oversee the hoist of a new, larger Rainbow Flag — one made by the flag manufacturing company Baker started — on the pole at Christopher Park.

A view of Christopher Park facing the Stonewall Inn.
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On June 4, the Strand Bookstore on Broadway in the Village played host to a launch party for “Rainbow Warrior,” which featured a panel including playwright and actor Charles Busch and activists Ann Northrop, Ken Kidd, Jay Walker, and Melissa Sklarz.

Jamie Adams, the out lesbian ranger for the Stonewall National Monument, part of the National Park Service, which this year paid for the Rainbow Flags used to decorate the park.
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This evening at 7 p.m., the Stonewall Inn is the site of a second panel about the book, this one including Stonewall owner Stacy Lentz, Congregation Beit Simchat Torah Senior Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, filmmaker and activist Brendan Fay, with fellow activists Lidell Jackson and Cathy Marino-Thomas.

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RAINBOW WARRIOR: MY LIFE IN COLOR | By Gilbert Baker | Chicago Review Press | $26.99 | 256 pages

Charley Beal readies the new, larger Rainbow Flag now flown at Christopher Park.
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A larger Rainbow Flag now flies over Christopher Park and the Stonewall National Monument.
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The late Gilbert Baker’s allies from Gays Against Guns were on hand for the flag-raising on June 1.
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Charles Busch, Ken Kidd, Melissa Sklarz, and Ann Northrop on the Strand Bookstore book launch panel.
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Charley Beal enjoys the Strand Bookstore panel on the day of the book launch for “Rainbow Warrior.”
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