Saturday, June 13, 2009

Open Forum: What Does the Pride Flag Mean to You?

The pride flag is flown for a host of reasons including personal pride, political aspirations of justice, equality and peace, as well as for allies to demonstrate their acceptance and safe and affirming attitude towards sexual minorities.

The flag represents many things to many different people, and brings forth several different emotions. The colors originally were designed to symbolize: pink (sex), red (life), orange (healing), yellow (sunlight), green (nature), blue (harmony), and purple/violet (spirit). Are these an accurate description of your feelings for the flag? What do you think of when you see the flag, and what does the pride flag mean to you?


CrackerLilo said...

It makes me smile. It's bright, it's cheerful, it signifies inclusion. When I was a young woman in Orlando, which has a wide variety of people but is mostly conservative, I always regarded it as a sign of friendliness on a car, home, or business. I therefore made sure to have it on my car and home for others. I don't do it in NYC, but there seems to be less of a need.

Once some luminaries in Orlando's LGBT community had rainbow flags hung on the lampposts downtown. People got into screaming debates over it. Once when I was on the trolley taking me from lunch to work, a small boy admired the "pretty rainbows." Adults around him fought over them. The boy's mother said in a soft voice, "Please just let him have the pretty rainbows," and that stopped the argument.

I realized what it means to homophobes when people who dislike my favorite NHL player posted rainbow flag graphics as commentaries about him. It really took me a few moments to understand that in this context, the flags weren't welcoming in the way I took them in Orlando. They were the very opposite. That said, it's good to have that distinctive visual that everyone knows, for good or for ill.

WhiteDwarfStar said...

I dislike the rainbow flag. It looks like something for children. I do like the bisexual magenta/blue/lavender flag, though.

CrackerLilo said...

I like the bisexual flag, too, but not even many queer people know that one. It's sad. I wonder--if this were a better world, would we be seeing magenta/lavender/blue all over, or would we just not have the need?

JKtheWolf said...

Given the definition of the colors of the flag it all sounds too hippie like lofty and not at all identifiable with the gay pride movement. It fit the 70's when it was designed since it was more or less the end of the psychadelic movement then, but today it does look a bit like a kids flag. I know what it means when I see it - but it also suggests keeping choices separate instead of unification. Thus I'd like to see a circle added to it to represent a one nation point of view that we are all in this together fighting for PLACE - Pride, Liberty, Access, Choice and Equality. I'm JKtheWolf on Fetlife and that's where I first coined this acronym and am pushing for it.

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