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Monday, March 27, 2023

Full of color, the LGBTQ+ pride flag will fly celebratory this weekend

LGBTQ+ pride flag
Photo: Pamela Cruz P360P
Listen to Constanza Mazzotti's voice note

With 40 years of history, the LGBTQ+ pride flag, with the colors of the rainbow, is more alive than ever, looking for all those who have been repressed or have been tormented for being who they are to feel free and with full recognition of their rights, and this weekend will fly celebrating in various parts of the world with great pride.

The canvas that seeks to embrace all has changed over time. It waved for the first time on June 25, 1978 in the sky above the city of San Francisco, after it was commissioned by Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in the United States, from Gilbert Baker, an artist and former soldier who worked as a drag queen.

Photo: Pamela Cruz P360P

In the 1970s, everything was in turmoil in the United States, the Vietnam War had just ended, Nixon was resigning as president, and the country was celebrating two centuries of independence. But, in the midst of all this, the LGBTI community - lesbian, gay, trans, bisexual and intersex people - wishing to stop being locked in a "closet", started a movement that would allow them to become visible, taking as a banner the colors of a rainbow capable of embracing everyone. 

Photo: Pamela Cruz P360P

Baker's first design had eight colored stripes, which were inspired by the stripes of the American flag and the colors of the rainbow, the latter detail due to the inspiration of one of the greatest icons of the LGBTI community at the time, Judy Garland, who, in one of her most iconic characters, Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz", sang "Somewhere over the rainbow".

8 colors, 8 meanings

Baker's design included pink, which symbolized sexuality; red, life; orange, health; yellow, sunlight; green, nature; turquoise, magic; blue, peace; and violet, spirit.

30 volunteers participated in creating the banner, all gathered in the attic of the Gay Community Center at 330 Grove Street in San Francisco. 

Photo: Pamela Cruz P360P

There, they dyed the cotton strips one by one with natural dyes and then joined them together with thread and needle and finally ironed it.

Eventually, those eight stripes went from eight to six, but Milk was unable to see the final design, as the San Francisco Board of Supervisors member, along with Mayor George Moscone, was assassinated by Dan White, another city supervisor who had recently resigned and wanted his position back.

In addition to the rainbow flag, others have emerged, specific to specific communities, such is the case of the lesbian pride flag, with colors ranging from pinks to stronger shades and, although it does not have a specific design, it has included astronomical symbols such as Venus, an inverted black triangle and a double-edged axe in the center.

Photo: Pamela Cruz P360P

The trans pride flag was created in 1999 by designer Monica Helms using it for the first time at the Pride March in Phoenix, Arizona. The characteristic colors are pastel, blue, pink and white.

In the case of the non-binary Queer pride flag, it has been bathed in the colors purple, white and green. It was created by designer Marilyn Roxie in 2019 and embraces those who do not identify with any gender representing, also binary genders and neutrality.

The pansexual and intersex pride flag features a yellow background and a purple circle in the center, it was created by the association Intersex Human Rights Australia in 2013. 

Photo: Pamela Cruz P360P

Meanwhile, the bisexual pride flag designed by Michael Page in 1998, consists of three stripes: fuchsia, lavender and blue. In the designer's words, the order and color of the stripes represents people who are attracted to the same sex, while the last one identifies those who are attracted to the opposite sex and the middle one to bisexuals.

The asexual pride flag is characterized by the color black symbolizing asexual people, gray representing the different levels of sexual desire and white allies, while purple represents the sexually diverse community.

Standard and expression of freedom on the march

With bold colors ranging from bright yellows to outlandish pinks, the LGBTQ+ pride march parades represent, from their dramatic beginning, an expression of freedom.

San Francisco Pride Marchone of the most awaited, will be held this last weekend of June with the theme "Love Will Keep Us Together".

This celebration was born in San Francisco in 1970 as "San Francisco Pride" and each year has had different themes in the interest of symbolizing the freedom of people to openly express their sexual identity.

Photo: Pamela Cruz P360P

The parade offers the opportunity for LGBTIQ+ groups to enjoy their freedom in the streets of the city by making themselves known and spreading their beliefs and alliances in a public way.

The days of the celebrations this year will be June 25 and 26, however, the highlight will be the Sunday morning parade. 

The march will start from Beale Street and go along Market to end at the corner of 8th Street in the heart of downtown San Francisco.

For this celebration, about 200 contingents and exhibitors are expected to be prepared with colorful and local scenarios of the LGBTTTIQ+ community.

You may be interested in: Harvey Milk: the echo of his fight for LGBT+ rights continues to echo loudly

Pamela Cruz
Pamela Cruz
Editor-in-Chief of Peninsula 360 Press. A communicologist by profession, but a journalist and writer by conviction, with more than 10 years of media experience. Specialized in medical and scientific journalism at Harvard and winner of the International Visitors Leadership Program scholarship from the U.S. government.


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