Pride Symbols Guide

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Symbols of Pride
Prepared by the Pink Zone

The Rainbow: is a symbol of lesbian and gay pride, and of the diversity and many colors of our community. The rainbow flag originated in the 70's in San Francisco's Castro area as an alternative to the American flag. It is now a recognized symbol of Pride throughout the United States and Europe.

The Pink Triangle: was worn by male homnosexuals in the WWII Nazi concentration camps (similar to the yellow star worn by Jews). It was reclaimed as a symbol of Gay LIberation. A pink triangle means never forget, never go back.

The Black Triangle: was worn by lesbians as well as other political and social misfits in the concentration camps. Although there is less documentation surrounding the symbol and the plight of lesbians during the holocaust it is currently being reclaimed by lesbians as a symbol of liberation.

The Lambda: On the eve of a protest in 1969, the lambda was chosen by Gay and Lesbian organizations in New York and New Jersey as a symbol of liberation. The Lambda is the eleventh letter of the Greek alphabet and represents L for liberation. It was later discovered that Spartan platoons made up solely of homosexual men had this symbol emblazened on their shields. In 1974, the first International Gay Rights Congress, convened in Scotland, accepted the Lambda as the international symbol for Gay and Lesbian rights.

The Labrys: is a symbol of power and pride worn by many lesbians. It is a double headed ax said to have been used by amazon women or an agricultural tool used during matriarchal times.

Green Carnations: were worn by men in Oscar Wilde's generation to identify themselves as gay.

The Color Lavendar: was chosen to represent gays and lesbians because it is a mixture of blue and pink.

The Lavendar Ribbon: Hundreds of lesbian mothers and gay fathers are denied custory and/or visitation iwth their children each year. The lavendar ribbon is worn to raise people's awareness of these tragic injustices.

A Pink and Blue Triangle Overlapping: is a symbol of bisexuality.

The Red Ribbon: Hundreds of thousands of people have died of AIDS since it was first identified in 1981. People living with AIDS have met with discrimination and ignorance. Government monies for medical research and public educatio nwere too late or non-existent for thousands of people who have died. The Red Ribbon is a symbol of compassion and awareness. It is worn in rememberance of the many who died and in support of those living under the burden of the disease.

The Pink Ribbon: Each year thousands of women die of breast cancer. According to one report, Lesbians are more likely than heterosexual women to be diagnosed with breast cancer because they tend to smoke and drink more and are less likely to have hcildren. The pink ribbon is worn to raise awareness about the devastating number of women that breast cancer effects and to encourage support toward finding a cure.

Black, Blue, and White Stripes with a Red Heart: is a symbol of Leather pride. It was first introduced in the form of a flag with a red heart in the top left corner and alternating black, blue, and white stripes. The color combination is now used in many products worn with pride by the Leather community.

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