Jun 30, 2023, 05:55AM

Shades of Pride

Does anyone know what all these flags mean?

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Source: L.A. County Dept of Mental Health, 2022

My candle company sponsored the local Pride festival. I had a little section of cute Pride swag with the candles, and the booth next to me was selling ornaments that represented the different flags. The queer vendor, my queer self and a lesbian friend had the following conversation when I asked what one flag represented:

Queer Vendor (QV): “I have a chart that shows the different flags and who they represent, but it’s been a few years and I know it’s outdated; new ones have come out…”

Me: Which one is the watermelon colored one?

Me to LF: (handing her a sticker depicting a striped lesbian flag) “Your squad has the best colors!”

LF: Which colors are these?

Me: “Whaaatt! Lesbian FAIL! these are the lesbian flag colors. I only came out last year and even I know that and you’re a lifer!”

(Group laughter.)

(Looking at chart, feeling like a newbieMe: “Holy shit, how many flags are there altogether?”

QV: “These are only a few dozen, there are a lot more new ones. I can’t keep up.”

LF: “How many different lesbian flags are there?”

QV: “These are only a few, there are at least six or so.”

Me: “Holy shit. I’m glad when I came out I went with the David Rose Schitts Creek “wine not the label” vibe, because I wouldn’t even know which flag to fly anymore. I really wish someone would come out with a tie-dye plus sign flag that just included everyone. That’s the one I would fly, the kinda hippie-dippie, Jimmy Buffet idgaf who you are genetically, why don’t we get drunk and screw flag.”

QV: “Right! I feel bad I don’t even know what some of these things signify. I respect what everyone chooses of course, but I don’t know what a lot of the identifications mean.”

We start Googling.

The official Human Rights Campaign flagsdon’t cover at all the many more flags used by the LGBTQIA+ community. By searching, we learned that the “watermelon colored” flag meant Abrosexual, which is when a person “has a fluid sexual orientation and may experience different sexual orientations over time.” That seems like a good one. Great colors, too.

The website “Queer in the World” offers the history and significance of 50 different LGBTQIA flags, stating: 

“Imagine the rainbow flag is the US flag, and many of these other flags are like individual states underneath. In a community as large and beautifully diverse as ours, it is natural that smaller tribes will want to carve out some recognition for themselves; thus, the different LGBTQ Flags we have today.”

It was a fun interaction, surrounded as we were by a drag show going on, people of all ages; art, food and music on a sunny day, shades of colors of flags that all come from the same rainbow swirling together in one inclusive community.


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