NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – In a few weeks, New York City will be covered in rainbow flags for the World Pride Parade.

But how exactly did the rainbow flag come to be?

That’s the subject of a new documentary.

“This is actually one of the ones, one of his flags,” said LGBT activist Charley Beal.

For him, it’s more than a flag. It’s a symbol of strength that serves as a reminder of his late best friend.

“I’m proud when I see the flag, and I’m proud that it’s growing still,” Beal said.

Back in 1978, Gilbert Baker created the rainbow flag to represent gay pride. He died two years ago of a heart attack, but now Beal is still spreading his message.

“Gilbert believed deeply that visibility is the key to our liberation. If we are invisible people, we aren’t free,” Beal said.

He designed the flag to be as bright as possible so it could always be seen. All month long during Pride, dozens line Sheridan Square by the Stonewall Inn, where the gay pride movement began, and are also hung in storefronts and on homes.

“So when they see that icon, they know they’re in safe harbor. They know they’re with their people,” Beal said.

Gilbert’s journey and many others will soon be highlighted in the official documentary of World Pride 2019, “Humans of Pride.”

Producer Kevin Coop is trying to interview 100 people who have made a difference in the LGBTQ movement.

“It’s about the successes and that’s what we see trying to do, highlight the successes,” Coop said.

He has recruited 30 volunteers to work on the film, which is expected to be released next year.

One volunteer came all the way from Brazil.

“We are giving our full here, if there’s something relevant happening, we are there,” said volunteer Vitor Vieira.

Pride parade and film happening now, and telling the stories of what happened then.

CBS is a proud sponsor of the parade. If you want to learn more about Gilbert Baker and his journey, his memoir was released today.

For more information on the documentary, click here.


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