There is no doubt. Orlando is a town of love and compassion. Our community has shown its heart to the world this week. We’re more than just a vacation town. We are a town of culture, compassion, and creatives. Members of our arts, tech and digital media industries want to volunteer and help our families just as much as anyone else. Enter: local web engineer and graphic designer, Brandon Chang.
After moving to Central Florida with a good friend to attend Valencia College’s Graphic Design program, Brandon Chang fell in love with Orlando and made our city his home. After graduation, he got a cool job at PurpleRockScissors, a local digital design agency, and met and fell in love again with an even cooler lady named BG. Kingston, Jamaica may be the place of his birth but like many, he made Orlando his adopted hometown.
Upon hearing of the attack on Pulse Orlando, like all of us, Brandon immediately wanted to help his hometown. With a unique skillset and a simple idea, he turned to his co-workers at PRPL to make it happen. “I was inspired by the community and the people who decided to come together after the shootings, and took time to gather for a gesture towards the affected families and friends, and to the larger LGBTQ community,” he says. “I also could not of done this without the amazing talent of my peers and co-workers at Purple Rock Scissors who really helped make the idea a reality.”
Check out Purple’s moving video tribute to Orlando called, “Orlando United.”
His idea has now turned into a website called Project Pri.de, a site where Facebook users can include their profile images on what he hopes will be an infinite rainbow flag on the web filled with pictures of Orlando’s LGBTQ community, its allies, and eventually the allies and members of the LGBTQ around the world. “I hope that with Project Pride, I can hope to bring the amazing sense of community that has been happening here, to places and people who want to show their support and make a stand, no matter how small, for those affected. I hope that over time, we can show this collaborative flag as a measure of the strength of the community.”
Great idea from ‘just a guy with an eye for small details!’ A social show of solidarity to bring us all together. Simple, right? Brandon says, “Anybody can help by taking part! Add yourself to the project, and be a piece of the whole. Share it and hopefully share some love along with it.”
Currently there are 819 supporters, including yours truly. How cool would it be to see this number grow into the tens of thousands… millions… BILLIONS?! Click on the image above to add your profile picture! Oh, and don’t worry Twitter and Instagrammers. Brandon and the team will try and support linkage to these social sites too, and as soon as possible.
Speaking of the Project Pri.de team, it’s a big one. Brandon wanted to make sure to extend gratitude and shout outs to all his co-workers for their time and extraordinary efforts. “I’d just like to to thank the people who took part in building this project along-side me, who really shaped and molded the idea into what it is today,” he says. “A huge shout out to Matt Eagle, Devin Jacoviello, Rob Ignasiak, Don Page, Dean Wagman, Erin Butler, Brandon Shaw, and others who took their time to make this happen. Also a thank you to all those who participated and added themselves to the project, and shared.”
Find out more about Brandon Chang and check out his impressive portfolio here: http://brandonchang.me.
[UPDATE] Local note: In tribute to the lives lost at Pulse and in support of freedom lovers worldwide, tomorrow morning, June 17th, Orange County Government will display Section 93 of the Sea-to-Sea Rainbow Flag on their Administration Building at 201 S. Rosalind Ave. Today, Executive Director of LoveisLove Key West, Mark Ebenhoch will be in town with the flag. Find more information on their Facebook event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/179054329164226/
The Sea-to-Sea Flag has become a globally-recognized symbol of the LGBTQ movement and symbolizes acceptance, understanding, education, solidarity and inclusion.
The original rainbow flag was designed by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker in 1978 as a symbol of gay and lesbian pride in response to anti-gay activities. In the spring of 2003, Baker and a team of volunteers cut and sewed a 1.25-mile-long version of the flag in Key West, to celebrate the iconic banner’s 25th anniversary. On June 15, 2003, some 2,000 volunteers unfurled the flag from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico along the entire length of Duval Street, in a sea-to-sea representation of pride and diversity. Sections of the flag have since traveled worldwide.