On March 31st, 2017 Gilbert Baker, the man who created the Rainbow Pride Flag, died. That night, a crowd of hundreds formed in the Castro District of San Francisco, where Baker first created the flag, reported David Elijah-Nahmod in the South Florida Gay News.
Mourners carried Pride Flags and rainbow banners, and San Francisco journalist David Bogachik carried a flag emblazoned with the words “Somos Orlando,” which means “We Are Orlando” in Spanish. This flag was meant to honor the 49 LGBTQ+ victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre, most of whom were Latinx. They were also remembered at the rally in the Castro District.
Cleve Jones, a long-time LGBTQ+ activist and friend of Baker’s, said, “He was a veteran, a drag queen, a sister, a revolutionary, and a hippie. He dedicated his life to the movement. He saw the struggle for LGBT equality as part of the larger social justice movement.”
Baker created the flag in 1978, and his work was recently celebrated in the ABC historical drama about the LGBTQ+ rights movement, “When We Rise.”
Sister Merry Peter of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence—a group to which Baker once belonged—stated, “He gave away the Rainbow so the whole world could share it.”
Baker was 65 when he died.