Rainbow Warrior: My Life in Color

Rainbow Warrior: My Life in Color

Rainbow Warrior: My Life in Color

Rainbow Warrior: My Life in Color


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In 1978, Harvey Milk asked Gilbert Baker to create a unifying symbol for the growing gay rights movement, and on June 25 of that year, Baker’s Rainbow Flag debuted at San Francisco’s Gay Freedom Day Parade. Baker had no idea his creation would become an international emblem of liberation, forever cementing his pivotal role in helping to define the modern LGBTQ movement. Rainbow Warrior is Baker’s passionate personal chronicle, from a repressive childhood in 1950s Kansas to a harrowing stint in the US Army, and finally his arrival in San Francisco, where he bloomed as both a visual artist and social justice activist. His fascinating story weaves through the early years of the struggle for LGBTQ rights, when he worked closely with Milk, Cleve Jones, and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Baker continued his flag-making, street theater and activism through the Reagan years and the AIDS crisis. And in 1994, Baker spearheaded the effort to fabricate a mile-long Rainbow Flag—at the time, the world’s longest—to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Stonewall uprising in New York City. Gilbert and parade organizers battled with Mayor Rudy Giuliani for the right to carry it up Fifth Avenue, past St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Today, the Rainbow Flag has become a worldwide symbol of LGBTQ diversity and inclusiveness, and its colorful hues have illuminated landmarks from the White House to the Eiffel Tower to the Sydney Opera House. Gilbert Baker often called himself the “Gay Betsy Ross,” and readers of his colorful, irreverent, and deeply personal memoir will find it difficult to disagree.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781641601504
Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 06/04/2019
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 451,477
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Artist Gilbert Baker created the first Rainbow Flag in 1978 and was a longtime LGBTQ, peace and AIDS activist. He died in 2017.

Table of Contents

Foreword Dustin Lance Black ix

1 A Bolt of Lightning 1

2 Dreaming of a Life Over the Rainbow 3

3 I Am Not a Homosexual 13

4 A Door Opens 23

5 Stitching a Rainbow 33

6 Victory and Backlash 51

7 Raining on My Parade 57

8 Life at the Clown Hotel 63

9 The Birth of Sister Chanel 2001 71

10 Bobbi Took Off His Socks 81

11 Working for the Enemy 87

12 Stoning the Pope 95

13 Rock Bottom and Rebel Rebirth 101

14 Pink Jesus and the Holy War 103

15 Spreading My Wings Ill

16 Dorothy Goes to Gotham 115

17 Defending the Rainbow 125

18 Russians, Bobbins, Flashbulbs, and Tears 131

19 The Winter of My Discontent 143

20 Clash of the Divas 153

21 An Affair to Remember, a Night to Forget 163

22 Last Shift at the Sequin Mine 167

23 A Bump in the Road 173

24 The Chiffon Rebellion 179

25 A Day in Court, a Night at Stonewall 189

26 A Magician, a Mile of Scarf, and a Pair of Scissors 199

27 The Hatchet Is Buried 215

28 Invisible, with Liberty and Justice for All 221

Epilogue: Gilbert Baker's Later Years 225

Acknowledgments 231

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