Beyond the Rainbow: 8 Other LGBT+ Flags You Should Know About
Jun 22, 2020   •   Cristina Morales
8List.ph is published by ID8, Inc.
Jun 22, 2020   •   Cristina Morales
It’s Pride Month, and while we won’t be seeing any Pride Marches this year (thanks, corona!), that shouldn’t stop us from standing up for equality and recognizing the struggles of our friends in the LGBT+ community. The first step to doing that is understanding the different identities that fall under the LGBT+ umbrella. Just take a look at the most commonly used pride flags (besides the rainbow) and what they mean.
Designed in 1998 by Florida-based activist Michael Page, the bisexual flag is based on the biangles, the origin of which is unknown. The colors of the flag have two possible interpretations:
Page explains that the purple stripe blends into the blue and magenta stripes because bisexual people often “blend noticeably into both the gay/lesbian and straight communities.”
Asexuality is defined by a lack of sexual attraction, but it also falls in a spectrum. Some people identify as “gray-asexuals” or “gray ace”, which means they feel sexual attraction, but only rarely, and usually under specific circumstances.
The asexual flag was created in 2010 to help raise awareness of the asexual community:
Pansexuals are people who are attracted to all gender identities, and the pansexual pride flag, which became widely used in 2010, reflects that:
There actually isn’t a widely-used lesbian pride flag, but the 2018 version (see above) created by Tumblr blogger Emily Gwen has seven stripes with distinct meanings:
Intersex people are those who were born either without male or female biological characteristics or exhibit a combination of both. Created in 2013 by Morgan Carpenter from Intersex Human Rights Australia (IHRA), the intersex flag consists of a purple circle in with a yellow background. Yellow and purple are meant to represent “hermaphrodite” colors.
“The circle is unbroken and unornamented, symbolizing wholeness and completeness, and our potentialities,” explains IHRA on their website. “We are still fighting for bodily autonomy and genital integrity, and this symbolizes the right to be who and how we want to be.”
Created by transgender woman Monica Helms in 1999, the transgender pride flag has colors that are associated with the traditional colors for baby boys and girls:
The flag is intentionally designed so that it’s correct no matter which way you fly it. “This symbolizes us trying to find correctness in our own lives,” Helms explains.
Non-binary people identify with a spectrum of gender identities that don’t fall outside the gender binary, or the exclusively masculine or feminine. Created in 2014 by activist Kye Rowan, the non-binary flag’s colors represent the different kinds of non-binary identities:
A polysexual person is someone who is sexually attracted to many — but, unlike pansexuals, not all — genders. People who use the polysexual label often prefer it to the term bisexual as they feel that bisexual reinforces dichotomies.
This flag, designed by Tumblr user Samlin in 2012, are based on the bisexual and pansexual flags:
Of course, because there are so many ways to express gender and sexuality, these aren’t the only flags out there. There are so many other flags used in the LGBT+ community, and we won’t be surprised if we see new ones cropping up in the next couple of years. These flags are only scratching the surface of gender and sexual identity, but it’s a good place to start.
Which of these flags did you just learn about now? Tell us all about it in the comments!
Though a chronic dabbler in whatever tickles her fancy, Cristina claims she can count her passions on one hand: feminism, literature, the environment, embroidery, and the power of a solid pop song. She lives in Uniqlo lounge pants and refuses to leave the house without a winged eye.
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