The term queer refers to those who are not heterosexual and/or cisgender. Although a while back this word was seen as derogatory (can still be if used negatively), the queer community reclaimed the word and turned it into an all-encompassing label for those of sexuality and gender minorities. To be queer could mean to be a lesbian, it can mean to be transgender, it can also mean to be nonbinary. The extent of queerness is endless. Waving a queer flag means that you might be a part of or support the myriad of sexualities and gender identities that make up this community.
The queer flag today
Many queer people wave the classic rainbow flag created by Gilbert Baker. With that being said those who identify as queer felt as though they didn’t want to be put into a box and thus decided that a flag created to represent queerness would be beneficial. The queer pride flag was created in 2015 by Pastelmemer. The flag represents the non-normative approach to sexuality and gender that is the queer identity.
So what does this flag represent? As a whole, the unification of queer individuals. Below is a breakdown of what the colors of this flag represent.
- Pinks and Blues: Attraction to people of the same gender.
- Orange and Green: Non-binary individuals.
- Black and White: Asexual, agender, and aromantic individuals.
Alternative versions of the queer flag
When it comes to queer representation through flags there are a variety of options. From the classic rainbow flag to newer flags with added stripes there is a flag for everyone. Although the flag below is the only flag deemed a “queer flag” many queer individuals synonymously use the flags below to represent their community.
LGBTQ+ Rainbow Flag
Think of this as a country flag. Although the USA waves the classic red, white, and blue flag every state has their own individual flags. In the same way the LGBTQ+ rainbow flag is the iconic “gay flag” but from this flag are derived a variety of new ones that better represent the communities that make up the rainbow. This flag is based on the original Gilbert Baker flag, but has since been altered by removing two colored stripes. This flag is the most universal and used in almost all LGBTQ+ events and protests.
LGBTQ+ Progress Flag
Graphic designer Daniel Quasar created the progress pride flag in 2018. This flag adds on a chevron with five new colors to symbolize progression. The intention of the flag was to show support for the LGBTQ+ community members that historically have been excluded and who have faced maltreatment and at times even persecution.
Want to learn more about being queer?
Being queer is an umbrella term that refers to gender and sexual identities that are not heterosexual or cisgender. The word is also often used by those who find their sexuality and/or gender to be fluid and use this label to express that. Someone who is queer might be straight but not cisgender and vice versa. Queer people can be a combination of sexualities and genders and cannot be defined as one single kind of person.
With that being said queerness can include asexual individuals, transgender individuals, polyamorous individuals, and more. There are endless ways to be queer. It is also important to know that there is a large community of support waiting for you if you decide to come out. You are never alone and the queer community is a united force.
The bottom line is representation matters. Flags are a necessary tool when it comes to representing a community, identity, or sexuality. Putting up a queer flag or wearing it on a t-shirt shows appreciation and pride for the community. This is not only important for community members who want to feel unified, but also for visibility purposes. The colors and symbols on a flag show the world what it means to be a part of that community and give everyone a chance to show their pride.
In addition, be sure to learn about the other identities that make up the LGBTQ+ community subscribe to the INTO newsletter to learn more.
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