Raising LGBTQ+ Visibility in Marin One Flag At a Time
We aim to increase the number of Pride flags displayed in Marin County to show support for our LGBTQ+ youth.
Assuming that Marin is already a welcoming community, we hang a PRIDE flag on our community's main banner-hanging bridge, Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in Kentfield.
The flag is cut down. We replace it. Five times.
The Marin Flag Project is founded to increase visibility and inclusion in Marin. We pass out 100 flag flyers to local businesses and use Nextdoor and social media to encourage community members to use our website resources to display Pride flags. We are thrilled to be invited to create a huge Pride month display in a storefront at the Corte Madera Village mall. We also encounter pushback and rejection in some surprising places.
In December 2021, we raise money through a pop-up gift wrapping business at the Village to enable us to grow by purchasing Pride flags to distribute for free in 2022.
Because the Trevor Project's 2022 research shows that if youth find ONE supportive adult it decreases their risk of depression and suicide, we are distributing Pride flag flyers specifically to the places where youth look for these adults. We provide flag flyers and information to every pediatrician office, hospital, elementary school, middle school, high school, library, place of worship, city hall and police station in Marin County. As of May 25, we have distributed over 1000 flag flyers.
We continue to reach out to businesses in major retail areas and all Chambers of Commerce in Marin to provide flyers and/or full sized flags to incorporate into their June store displays. The response is great!
We broaden our social media outreach and engage other local youth and high schools to drive the project's outreach and goals, and to build momentum for #marinPRIDE to celebrate all flags on display across Marin county.
How You Can Help
Does flying the Pride flag actually help?
The research says “yes!”
According to the US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health, “The public visibility and presence of the symbol help young people feel better, find resources, identify supportive individuals and feel belonging to the larger communities...The display of rainbows is one of the.. conditions that help young people in their positive identity development.” Even in a community where LGBTQ+ people are generally accepted, self-discovery is still an extremely nerve-wracking process, and not all youth will be supported if they choose to come out. At the same time, Marin is not very visible in their support, which needs to change because, “LGBTQ youth who had access to spaces that affirmed their sexual orientation and gender identity reported lower rates of attempting suicide” according to the 2021 Trevor Project report.
Why fly a flag this year?
The Trevor Project found that 70% of LGBTQ+ youth are dealing with anxiety or depression. In fact, 45% of LGBTQ+ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, including more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth. Meanwhile, more than 80% of LGBTQ+ youth stated that COVID-19 made their living situation more stressful-— and only 1 in 3 LGBTQ+ youth found their home to be LGBTQ+-affirming. Quarantine has cut youth’s ties with local support groups and increased exposure to unaccepting family members. Problems that do arise go unnoticed to the public because their situation has become invisible.
LGBTQ+ youth can also see that people like them are increasingly targeted in hate crimes and nationwide legislation that specifically targets LGBTQ+ youth. In California, hate crimes involving sexual orientation bias increased 24% between 2015 and 2019 (Office of the Attorney General - California Department of Justice). The Southern Poverty Law Center, SPLC, currently tracks 10 known anti-LGBTQ+ hate groups in California, and the most recent FBI hate crimes report shows that hate crimes based on sexual orientation represent the third-largest category after race and religion. Marin is not immune, and LGBTQ+ targeted hate incidents are on the rise in our own community.
1 in 5 of every youth
you know today.
Nearly 1 in 5 Marin youth will likely identify as LGBTQ+ before they finish high school, according to 2022 Gallup research. On average, youth are age 12 when they first feel they might not be straight-- but 27% are under 10, 14% when between the ages of 11 and 14, and 19% between ages 15 to 19.
Impact and Supporters
Since 2021 The Marin Flag Project has distributed over 1200 flags and flag flyers and over 500 people have downloaded a flag flyer from this site to display.
Let's celebrate these organizations that have committed to us that they will display the Pride flag and/ or our flag flyer to support Marin's youth:
Laurel Dell Elementary, San Anselmo
Mary E Silveira Elementary, San Rafael
Edna McGuire Elementary, Mill Valley
Bacich Elementary, Kentfield
Neil Cummins Elementary, Larkspur
Cove Elementary, Corte Madera
Ross Valley School District Elementary and Middle Schools, San Anselmo/ Fairfax
Kent Middle, Kentfield
Hall Middle, Larkspur
Del Mar Middle, Tiburon
Davidson Middle, San Rafael
Mill Valley Middle, Mill Valley
Redwood High School, Larkspur
Archie Williams High School, San Anselmo
Tamiscal High School, Larkspur
Novato High School, Novato
Ross Valley School District Offices
Kentfield School District Offices
Larkspur-Corte Madera District Office
Marin Waldorf School
Mark Day School, San Rafael
Branson School, Ross
Marin Country Day School, Corte Madera
Montessori in Motion Preschool, San Rafael
St. Hilary Catholid School, Tiburon
We have sent flag flyers to every school in Marin County and will update here with confirmed participants.
Marin Health Hospital
We have sent flag flyers to all pediatricians and hospitals in Marin, and will update here with confirmed participants.
St. John's Episcopal Church, Ross
St. Luke Presbyterian Church, San Rafael
Mt. Tamalpais United Methodist Church, Mill Valley
We have sent flag flyers to all worship communities in Marin, and will update here with confirmed participants.
The Village at Corte Madera *special thanks for their ongoing and in-kind support*
ACE Marin Hardware in San Rafael *special thanks for stocking Pride flags this year!*
Tiburon Peninsula Chamber of Commerce
Stephen Pringle Real Estate
West Marin Pet Hospital
We have sent flag flyers to many major retail communities, all Chambers of Commerce and many tourism boards in Marin, and will update here with confirmed participants.
Marin County Civic Center
Corte Madera Town Council
Mill Valley Town Council
Marin County Department of Public Works
San Rafael City Hall
We have sent flag flyers to every city council in Marin, and will update here with confirmed participants.
Marin Rowing Association
Marin LGBTQIA+ and Allies Nextdoor Group
We receive many individuals pledging support on our Nextdoor posts and via email, and will share select examples here.
Are you in? Share your thoughts
MarinHealth Medical Center
Dr. xxx forwarded the email that you sent to her regarding your project to have more Pride flags up in Marin. I wanted to personally reply and share that when I brought this to our executive team everyone was 100% supportive. MarinHealth Medical Center will soon have a Pride flag flying on our campus! I ordered the flag last week and I expect it to be up before the end of the week.
I hope that you have been successful in getting others to do the same, thank you for the good work you are doing in Marin!
-VP, Marketing and Communications
Thanks to these news organizations for spreading the word!
“Openness may not completely disarm prejudice, but it’s a good place to start.”