June is LGBT Pride Month and the community has embraced a multitude of flags symbolizing the various subgroups which make up the whole.
The rainbow flag with its current colors of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and indigo can be found at pride parades, on hoodies and mugs. Each of the current colors represents a variety of characteristics: red for life, orange for healing, yellow for the sun, green for nature, blue for art, indigo for harmony. However, the flag hasn’t always been this way; the original flag included the colors indigo, turquoise and hot pink and were flown for the first time in the 1978 San Francisco Pride Parade. Throughout the years, those three colors were taken out due to dye availability and symmetry. On June 8, 2017, the city of Philadelphia added the two new colors of black and brown to include LGBT people of color.
Michael Page introduced the the bisexual pride flag in 1998 to celebrate members of the LGBT community that are attracted to both men and women. He borrowed the colors of pink and blue from two interlocking triangles that came to represent the bisexual community and incorporated the indigo’s harmony. Some believe the magenta represents homosexual attraction and blue heterosexual attraction, with the indigo representing the middle ground of a blend between both types of attraction. Other interpretations view the magenta and blue stripes as attraction to women and men respectively, and the indigo as an attraction to both.
Monica Helms, a transgender woman, created the flag in 1999. It was first flown in a pride parade a year later in Phoenix, Arizona. With a total of five horizontal stripes, the flag consists of two pink, two blue and a single white stripe in the middle. The colors of the flag represent male and female genders and everything in between, including intersex and those who are transitioning.
Pansexuality, or omnisexuality, is sexual attraction regardless of gender identity or biological gender. The blue stripe represents those who identify as male, the pink is for those who identify as female, the yellow for anyone who doesn’t fit the standard gender binary, including those who identify as genderqueer.
Asexuality means no or low interest in sexual attraction. In 2010, the Asexual Visibility and Education Network asked members of their community to design a flag for the group. The black stripe means asexuality. Black’s counter, the white stripe, represents non-asexual allies, while the gray represents the space between sexuality and asexuality. Finally, the color purple symbolizes the community bond between all branches of the LGBT community.
Lipstick Lesbian Pride
A “lipstick” lesbian is a term for women who identify as lesbian and choose to express their gender in a feminine way — including wearing lipstick, high heels and stylish hairstyles. Their flag is a spectrum of reds and purples with a lipstick stain in the upper left hand corner.
Intersex is a term for people born with differences in their genitals that don’t conform to the medical definitions of male and female. Intersex people comprise of just over 1 percent of the U.S. population. The Organisation Intersex International Australia created the flag in 2013 to represent the group with the color yellow, which represents neither male nor female. The purple circle in the center represents completeness.
Genderqueer people are those who don’t identify with any particular gender. Created in 2010 by Marilyn Roxie, the genderqueer flag uses green, white and lavender. The lavender color is a mix between blue and pink, representing male and female. The green is the contrast of lavender, representing anyone outside of the typical gender norms. The white represents neutrality.