This is an article that is part of my search. A quest started by a father of a child that belongs to the LGBTQIA+ Community. The Flags of the Rainbow is the title I used for this article because all flags originated from the Rainbow Flag introduced in the Seventies.

The Amsterdam Pride Walk
De Pride Walk van zaterdag 7 augustus 2021 in Amsterdam.

Pride Walk

For the first time, we all went to a Pride Walk. This Pride Walk took place in Amsterdam (NL) on Saturday, August 7. I was able to see many different flags. Of some flags, I knew the meaning, of others I did not. A search began with figuring out what the meaning of the flags unknown to me was. I thought it was a good idea to share this quest. So that the information in this article may be useful to anyone looking for answers.

My oldest child is non-binary, in case you want to know.

The original flag

The original Pride Flag
The original Pride Flag

The original flag is the one made by Gilbert Baker for the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade of 1978. This original flag was made by hand and was to replace the pink triangle that was often used. This triangle had a negative charge. This symbol was used by the nazis in the concentration- and prisoners camps during the thirties and forties to designate gay men and lesbians.

The Flag of the Human Race
The Flag of the Human Race.
Source: Reddit.

Baker was inspired by The Flag of the Human Race. In this flag, several colours were used with different meanings. Baker wanted to make sure that everyone was able to identify themselves with this flag. The original flag was only used between 1978 and 1979. It was replaced by another flag because the pink colour was something that could not be processed by the company responsible for creating the flags.

The second Pride Flag
The second Pride Flag. The pink stripe at the top is missing.
Souce: Wikipedia.

The original flag or original Pride Flag consists of the seven colours, representing sex (pink), life (red), healing (orange), sunlight (yellow), nature (green), magic (turquoise), harmony (blue) and spirit (violet). There is another problem with this flag because one of the colours didn’t show when the flag was hung vertically.

The Pride Flag
The Pride Flag

Popularity

Despite the problems with the colours and appearance the flag gained popularity from the moment, it was introduced. Especially after the death of Harvey Milk. Milk was a councillor in San Francisco and openly gay.

The Pride Flag

Since 1979 we know this flag as the Pride Flag. For a long time, there was nothing wrong with this flag. The flag gained popularity all over the world. It became a symbol. An important symbol. Still, some people felt that the flag wasn’t inclusive enough. In other cases, people were inspired to create a flag for their part of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Nowadays, there is a wide variety of LGBTQIA+ flags. People introduce new flags using the power of freedom. Was the original flag perhaps not sufficient? The answer has everything to do with the development of emancipation. I think the emancipation of the LGBTQIA+ community is an important topic. This was a hard battle and still is. There were also other forms of emancipation to be discovered within the LGBTQIA+ community. That is the reason that the abbreviation we nowadays know for the community is different than years ago.

LGBT, LGBTQ, LGBTQIA, LGBTQIA+

Much has changed in recent years. The emancipation and the struggle were no longer just about two groups (homosexual men and lesbians). Therefore, the abbreviation slowly changed. We were talking about bisexuals, transgender people and everyone who belonged to the community. More people felt the need to be represented. A good way to indicate yourself or the group to which you belong or to have it represented is through a symbol.

Others can describe these developments and history much better than I do. Please remember that I am just a father of a child who belongs to the LGBTQIA+ community. It is also a journey of discovery for me. From the moment my child indicated what was going on, I also started to find out exactly what was going on. This search is still not over. Every day I learn new things.

My child is non-binary. Non-binary can be classified as genderqueer or gender expansive. This group was also looking for an interpretation, a symbol. They got that and they weren’t alone in that. More groups got symbols and the number of LGBTQIA+ flags grew.

Should we, therefore, consider the rainbow flag as old-fashioned? Judging by the many rainbow flags I saw in Amsterdam on Saturday, August 7, 2021, this is not the case. That’s the beauty of it, I think. The different symbols coexist.

Yet it started with the call for more inclusion in 2017. That was during the Black Lives Matter (BLM) demonstrations in the United States.  

Philadelphia’s People of Color Inclusive Flag & Queer People of Color Flag

Philadelphia’s People of Color Inclusive Flag
Philadelphia’s People of Color Inclusive Flag.
Source: Wikipedia.
Queer People of Color Flag
Queer People of Color Flag.
Source: gbta.wikia.org.

We all know the BLM protests. Protests against institutional racism. Against police brutality and for change. A necessary change, if you ask me. Some of the groups that protested were part of the LGBTQIA+ community. They felt that the rainbow flag should be added because they mattered too. This led to two flags: Philadephia’s People of Color Inclusive Flag and Queer People of Color Flag. These flags were mostly used in the United States. To meet the needs of more members of the LGBTQIA+ community, a new flag was introduced. That was the Progress Flag.

Progress Flag

The Progress Flag
The Progress Flag.
Source: Wikipedia.

The introduction of two new flags in the United States resulted in the creation of a new flag. Well, new… It was an adjustment of the original Pride Flag. Daniel Quasar was responsible for this redesign. The Progress Flag was introduced in 2018. Light blue, pink and white from the trans pride flag and the previously implemented brown and black colours were added. In some re-adjusted versions, the intersex flag has been added to the left. This flag is yellow with a purple circle.

I don’t think with the introduction of the Progress Flag the development of the original Pride Flag will stop. Simultaneously with the development of the Pride Flag and sometimes completely separate from it, new flags have been created. You can find lists on many different websites. All claim that they will show you all the flags that are used. Unfortunately, they don’t live up to the expectations. Even in this article, you will not find all the flags. Because the development is dynamic. If you have any suggestions for flags that need to be added to this article: I am always open to suggestions!

Bisexual Pride Flag / Bisexual Flag

Bisexual Flag
This flag was created by Michael Page in 1998. He wanted to give this part of the LGBTQIA+ community their flag.

Pink represents the attraction to someone of one’s sex. Blue represents the attraction to someone of the opposite sex. Purple represents the attraction for both sexes.

Lesbian Flag

Lesbian Flag
Lesbian Flag.
Source: Wikipedia.
The flag that we know today as the Lesbian Flag has not been around that long. This design was introduced in 2018. There is something weird about the flag because there are also versions with a print of a kiss in circulation. That was the original flag for this part of the community. Some say that this flag represents the so-called Lipstick Lesbians. That is not quite the case.

The kiss print flag is the original flag and was designed in 2010 by Natalie McCray. McCray was accused of being transphobic, biphobic and racist the same year the new flag was introduced. The result was the introduction of the flag we know today. A flag with different colours and therefore a different meaning. So let me focus on the 2018 flag.

Dark orange stands for gender non-conformity. Think of the connection you can find with things that are seen as the standard for a gender other than your own. It thus breaks the standards.

The second colour is medium orange and stands for independence. Remember that for centuries the idea has existed (and sometimes still exists) that women are dependent. In many cases dependent on men.

Together you achieve more. Hence, the lightest shade of orange represents the community or community. The white colour stands for the unique relationships with the woman and the lightest pink for serenity and peace. The middle colour pink represents love and sex and the last colour the darkest pink represents femininity.

Transgender Pride Flag

Transgender Pride Flag
Transgender Pride Flag.
Source: Wikipedia.
There are also two versions of this flag for the Transgender Pride Flag. One is well known, the other less well known. The first flag was created in 1999 by Monica Helms. One year later, the flag was used at the Phoenix Pride Parade.

The traditional flag contains colours that you normally associate with babies: blue and pink. But white is also present because it represents anyone who can be described as intersex (both female and male characteristics), people who are in transition or those who do not adopt gender. So the flag is diverse enough. Yet another flag was introduced in 2002 by Jennifer Pellinen. Pellinen herself stated about the flag that she was not aware of other flags. The flag consists of pink, light purple, purple, dark purple and blue. Pink and blue represent the genders: woman and man. The three purple colours represent the diversity within the community and the genders other than female and male.

The flag made by Helms is nowadays the most commonly used flag there is. The beauty of this flag: no matter how you turn the flag, the stripes are always in the same direction.

It doesn’t stop here with the two mentioned flags. More flags can be counted as part of the transgender community: the non-binary flag, gender fluid flag, the bi-gender flag and then there is the flag made by Holy Boswell in 1993: the genderqueer flag. But, these flags are considered to be part of a community that is considered autonomous. Yet we are talking about the transgender flag when we see the lanes, blue, pink, white, pink and blue. We refer to the other flags as flags for the groups that may or may not belong to the transgender category. That is a discussion that continues and about which others can tell much more than I can. I, therefore, choose to include these flags as separate entries.

Pansexual Pride Flag

Pansexual Pride Flag
Pansexual Pride Flag.
Source: Wikipedia.

This flag was introduced in 2010 and represents that part of the LGBTQIA+ community that feels attraction without gender. This should not be confused with bisexuality. Pansexuality is the attraction or desire for persons, not genders.

The pink in this flag represents the attraction to anyone who identifies as female. Blue represents the attraction to anyone who identifies as male. Yellow represents the “middle.” This implies the attraction to anyone who identifies as genderqueer, non-binary, agender, androgynous, or someone who rejects gender altogether based on the male-female binary system.

Genderqueer Pride Flag

Genderqueer Pride Flag
Genderqueer Pride Flag.
Source: Wikipedia.

This is an umbrella flag for a broad group within the LGBTQIA+ community. Marilyn Roxie designed the flag in 2011. The flag was created thanks to the website Genderqueer Identities and includes everything that we consider traditional (which is not): masculine and feminine colours in the form of blue and pink, complemented by lavender to emphasize not only the androgyny part ( not typically male, not typically female) but also to emphasize all queer identities. The term queer is used to contrast with the standard (hetero) norm. In other words: thinking about or with labels. White represents the agenda community. Those who are genderless or gender-free. Finally, the green is anyone whose identity can be defined outside of binary format.

So you would say a great flag for a group of people. Yet within the group, there was a need to develop its symbol. To explain and express one’s own identity in this way.

Agender Pride Flag

Ander Pride Flag
Agender Pride Flag.
Source: Wikipedia.

Although the Genderqueer flag could also be used for the agender community. If someone is on the agenda, then there is no identification with any gender. A flag was introduced in 2014 especially for this part of the community. You can ask why that separate flag would be necessary. Although this gender identity can be classified as genderqueer or even non-binary, wanting to place it as gender is a difficult thing in this case. This is about a person. Finished. No more, no less. Despite this, and this makes it confusing at times, these individuals can also identify as genderqueer, non-binary, and/or transgender. You could say that there is simply no gender.

The flag consists of the following elements: black and white for the lack of gender, grey for the group that can be defined as semi-genderless and green for the group of non-binary people.

Non-binary Pride Flag

Non-binary Pride Flag
Non-Binary Pride Flag.
Wikipedia.

A flag that I can now dream of. Although my oldest child does not own this flag, I have come to know the flag well. If I’m talking about my oldest child, I should be talking about them. Still, they will not get angry when you address them like him. I know, that’s not the way it should be. It shows that they have a big heart, full of forgiveness. All that aside.

The flag consists of the colours of everyone who falls outside the binary. In other words, no V or no M. That’s the colour yellow. Yellow, therefore, does not refer to a binary system when it comes to gender. Those who have more than one gender or have multiple genders are represented with the colour white. Everyone who belongs in between, so between V or M, is represented by the colour purple. Think of the colour as a mix. What do you get when you mix pink and blue? Correct…

The colour black stands for anyone without gender.

Asexual Pride Flag

Asexual Pride Flag
Asexual Pride Flag.
Source: Wikipedia.

The Asexual Pride Flag was introduced in the same year as the Pansexuality Pride Flag (2010). The flag was the result of contents held by the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN). Its goal was to create a symbol/flag to represent asexual people.

The lack of sexual attraction or sexual desire is asexual. You should not go so far as to assume that an asexual person lacks sexual orientation.

The flag consists of black, grey, white and purple. Black represents asexuality. Gray for the demisexual (people who only have feelings based on a strong emotional connection). White represents the partners and so-called Allies of asexual persons. Purple represents the asexual community (community).

Aromantic Pride Flag

Aromantic Pride Flag
Aromantic Pride Flag.
Source: Wikipedia.

When a person has less or no romantic attraction to others this is called aromantic. The flag for this part of the community consists of green (aromantic), grey and black (every aromantic sexuality, both asexual and sexual).

Demisexual Pride Flag

Demisexual Pride Flag
Demisexual Pride Flag.
Source: Wikipedia.

The Demisexual Pride Flag is a flag for that part of the community of asexual people that feels attraction only after a deep or deeper emotional connection. It’s unclear when the flag was introduced and who created this flag. There is no exact meaning to this flag and it shows resembles the Asexual Pride Flag.

Black stands for asexuality itself, grey for asexuality and demisexuality, white for sexuality and purple for the community.

Intersex Pride Flag

Intersex Pride Flag
Intersex Pride Flag.
Source: Wikipedia.

The Organisation Intersex International Australia was responsible for the introduction of this flag in 2013. The organisation wanted to break the striped flags. Instead of that, the centre of the flag consists of a purple circle. Purple represents intersex people. People with both feminine and masculine characteristics.

Bigender Pride Flag

Bigender Pride Flag
Bigender Pride Flag.
Source: LGBTA WIKI.

The Bigender Pride Flag isn’t a flag that is known to everyone. It took me some time to come up with the right information about this flag. This has also much to do with what bigender exactly is.

Bigender or dual gender identity is the same as having two genders or a double gender. Bigender is not the same as gender fluid. There is overlap, but then again there isn’t. Bigender is considered as a non-binary gender identity. The two genders could be woman or man, but this isn’t always the case.

It took me some time to find out when the flag was introduced. The flag was the result of a statement made on the social media network Tumblr. The flag was introduced in 2014 with no specific interpretation of this flag. As far as I know, blue represents masculinity, pink represents femininity, purple represents non-binary. So far, so good. There is one problem: there isn’t just one Bigender Pride Flag. The original flag was introduced by someone that was accused of aggression and transphobia.

Polysexual Pride Flag

Polysexual Pride Flag
Polysexual Pride Flag.
Source: Wikipedia.

You must not confuse polysexuality with pansexuality. According to Wikipedia, the following definition applies to polysexuality:

“Polysexuality has been defined as “encompassing or characterized by many different kinds of sexuality”, and as sexual attraction to many, but not all, genders. Those who use the term may be doing so as a replacement for the term bisexual, believing bisexual reifies dichotomies. Major monotheistic religions generally prohibit polysexual activity, but some religions incorporate it into their practices. Polysexuality is also considered to be another word for bisexuality.”

The Polysexuality Pride Flag was introduced in 2021. Using the power of social media, this flag was introduced to the world. The Tumblr user Samlin was responsible for the creation of this flag.

As you can see, the flag is greatly inspired by both the Bisexual Pride Flag and the Pansexual Pride Flag. That’s why pink and blue represent the attraction to women and men or those who identify as such. The green represents the attraction to everyone who is not inside the binary system of masculinity and feminity.

Two-Spirit Pride Flag

Two-Spirit Pride Flag
Two-Spirit Pride Flag.
Source: Wikipedia.

It’s not possible to unlink this flag to the Native Americans. This flag concerns what people have come to known as Two-Spirit people. Centuries ago, the natives of North America realized that it was impossible to use just two genders. If you consider this you must realize that the philosophy about the binary system of gender identity isn’t a hype or news flash. This has been around for centuries.

The natives of North America recognized that there were not just two gender identities. When you translate the words literally, this produces two ghosts. The original inhabitants of North America used this term for anyone who did not conform to the traditional genders. Without making them outcasts. The two-spirit North Americans sometimes played an important ceremonial or social role within the cultures. The term is not undisputed, however. Immediately after the introduction, there was already a discussion about whether this was the right way. Especially when you consider that the people in the old North American cultures were not described as such. Moreover, there was and is no consensus on how this term should be applied.

This is reason enough to conclude that centuries ago people refused at some point to label others.

A flag was introduced for this part of the LGBTQIA+ community. This flag consists of the traditional Pride Flag. A circle with two feathers have been added to this flag. The feathers represent feminity and masculinity. The circle represents the unity of both genders and the present or recognition of a different gender.

Wait a minute...

After reading all about these flags, you might ask yourself the question: “Am I missing something?” If you start thinking about it, you are missing something. This has everything to do with the original Pride Flag.

If the Pride Flag is a flag for the whole community and this lead to the introduction of a more inclusive flag – the Progress Flag – where is the flag for gay men? The Pride Flag isn’t just limited to men, right? So, where is their flag? Do they even have one?

Questions like these came to mind when I was searching for the different definitions of the flags of the LGBTQIA+ community. That brings me to a different topic: homosexuality. We tend to talk about homosexuality where the word refers to a man. In other words, “He’s gay.” Women can of course also be homosexual, although the term lesbian is used for this.

So if you take the word “gay” as a starting point for the male homosexuals, what about the Pride Flag? Girls and women also identify themselves based on this flag. This flag is the über symbol. So, again, where is the flag especially for gay men?

After searching for an answer, I stumbled on the website LGBTA WIKI. On this website, the term Vincian was used.

Vincian Flag

Vincian Flag
Vincian Flag.
Source: LGBTA WIKI.
Of course, I realize that the source I use for the term vincian may not be the most widely used. That’s LGBTQA Wiki, part of Wikia.org. On this website, I read more about using vincian. According to this website, the word is just one of the many terms that can be used to describe gay men. Yet, we often choose to use the term gay for men and lesbian for women, as said before.

It’s not my intention to offend. It is a thought behind the word and its application. I still have to get used to it. Like many things. So I have to get used to the word vincian. The question is whether it will become a widely accepted term. The same applies to the flag that would belong to this group.

The difficult thing about the information as it is displayed on the internet is that it often concerns one-to-one copies of lists. To welcome as many visitors as possible to a particular website. You could ask me if I don’t do the same. The answer to that, by the way, is “no.” If I had copied one to one information, this part would not have been covered. Yes, I have chosen to omit certain things. Now take ‘abrosexual’ for anyone seeing in transition. A transition of gender (expression, identity) or a transition of sexual preference.

Not all flags are considered to be a ‘true’ part of the LGBTQIA+ community. For instance, there is a flag for heterosexual people. I believe this flag is there because there has been a complaint about all the attention for the LGBTQIA+ community and a feeling of proving themselves. The same is not true of the Allies flag. That is why I do not deal with the heterosexual flag itself, but that of the Allies.

Leather Pride Flag and other subcultures

Leather has always been important to a section of the LGBTQIA+ community. You can have an opinion about that. You can also see it this way: the flag is often present during the various expressions by the community.

In Amsterdam (07-08-2021) a speech was given by someone from this subculture (Leather Pride) before the Pride Walk. The person described it not as a fetish, but as a way of life. Of course, you can discuss that too. I leave that for what it is.

The Leather Pride Flag
The Leather Pride Flag.
Source: Wikipedia.
The Pony Pride Flag
The Pony Pride Flag.
Source: Wikipedia.
The Rubber Pride Flag
The Rubber Pride Flag.
Source: Wikipedia.
BDSM Rights Flag
The BDSM Rights Flag.
Source: Wikipedia.
The Slave-Master Pride Flag
The Slave-Master Pride Flag.
Source: Wikipedia.
The Master-Slave Pride Flag
The Master-Slave Pride Flag.
Source: Wikipedia.

The Leather Pride Flag has been around since 1989. It was designed for Chicago International Mr. Leather Celebration by Tony DeBlase. The flag was to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. The Stonewall Riots took place in New York City in 1969. There, a gay bar was evacuated by the police. It became the impetus for the community to fight back. It was an event that would determine the acceptance of the LGBTQIA+ community, although this acceptance is still not complete. One of the consequences of the riots was the origin of the Pride marches. All over the world. To show that violence against the LGBTQIA+ community is not acceptable. The Amsterdam Pride and therefore the Amsterdam Pride Walk is therefore also a result of these riots. Yet the riots were not the absolute beginning of the emancipation of the LGBTQIA+ community. The steps towards emancipation started in the 1950s, perhaps even earlier.

The flag would grow out to become the most important representation of a subculture within the LGBTQIA+ community. Not soon after, more flags like this one were introduced.

When asked, DeBlase made it clear that the interpretation of this flag is up to the person who’s looking at the flag. In a way, this flag is also for the heterosexual and cisgenders who have this certain feeling with or about leather.

There are more related flags like this one: the Rubber Pride Flag, the BDSM Rights Flag, the Slave-Master Pride Flag and the Master-Slave Pride Flag. And then there are two other flags: the Butch and Femme Flag and the Bear Brotherhood Flag.

Butch en Bear

Butch and Femme is that part of the lesbian community that is a reference to the way some women may dress or may behave. This blurs the distinction between gender roles based on appearance and clothing. Without renouncing gender identity. Bear (or Bears) refers to a certain type of man who generally meets the conditions that the man is sturdy and hairy.

De oorspronkelijke Butch Flag
The original Butch Flag.
Source: LGBTA Wiki.
De inclusieve Butch Flag
The inclusive Butch Flag.
Source: LGBTA Wiki.

Butch and Femme Flag / Butch Flag

The Butch and Femme Flag is often referred to as the Butch Flag. It was introduced in 2017. There is no deeper meaning to this flag. It’s just a representation of that part of the LGBTQIA+ community. In the years following 2017, new versions of modifications were introduced. The inclusive flag that was introduced in 2021 has a deeper meaning, which corresponds to the lesbian flag. The large yellowish stripes represent the history of the butch as an identity and the culture that goes with it. The stripes also represent solidarity. The narrow yellow stripe represents the so-called Stone Butches (someone who does not want to be touched but does want to touch others). The yellow-orange stripe represents the connection with the community and the connection with women. The orange stripe represents the inclusion of butches and other marginalized – related – identities.

Bear Flag / Bear Brotherhood Flag
The Bear Flag / Bear Brotherhood Flag.
Bron: Wikipedia.
Transgender Bear Flag
The Transgender Bear Flag
Source: LGBTA WIKI
Non-binary Bear Flag
The Non-Binary Bear Flag.
Source: LGBTA WIKI

Bear Flag / Bear Brotherhood Flag

Let’s talk about the flag of the Bear Brotherhood. Seven stripes with different colours. It’s impossible not to notice the bear paw. The colours have been chosen in a way that they represent all races and show the diversity of this part of the community. The origins of the flag date back to 1995. The flag was the creation of Craig Byrnes. The Transgender Bear Flag and the Non-Binary Bear Flag were later introduced.

The Labrys Lesbian Pride Flag
The Labrys Lesbian Pride Flag.
Source: Wikipedia.

Labrys Lesbian Pride Flag

The Labrys Lesbian Pride Flag was first introduced in 1999. The flag contains a labrys, which was already known in antiquity and the Minoan civilization, led by women, and may have been derived from an axe. When you look closely at the labrys symbol, it looks just a bit too dangerous to be considered an axe. The labrys could be derived from a butterfly and the process by which a caterpillar and pupa eventually grow into a real butterfly.

In the LGBTQIA+ community, the flag features a labrys, which is a clear reference to the matriarchal society. A society where women rule. Before the symbol appeared on the flag, it was a common symbol for cisgender women, to show struggle and power. In the 1970s, the symbol was adopted by the more radical fighters for equal rights for lesbians. The purple colour in the flag symbolizes cisgender women. The black triangle shows that these are lesbian cisgender women.

Less frequent used flags or less frequent visible flags

In addition to the flags mentioned above, many other flags belong under the umbrella of LGBTQIA+. Just because I use the term less frequent flags does not mean that they are not important. No one is unimportant.

Neptunic Pride Flag

Neptunic Pride Flag
Neptunic Pride Flag. Source: LGBTA WIKI.
Not all cases involve an identity. In several cases, it concerns a certain preference. Take Neptune or Nomascsexual for example. This concerns the attraction to women, feminine non-binary persons or neutral non-binary persons. The attraction to everyone except men or male-oriented non-binary persons.

The desire to arrive at an interpretation in the form of a flag has undoubtedly been expressed on social media. In recent years you see more often than the interpretations come about in this way. Just look at the polysexual flag.

The term neptunian was introduced by a Tumblr user and the flag was introduced in 2017. The problem with introducing such flags through a social network is that there is a chance that more than one flag could be introduced. That is also the case with this flag. That also happened in 2021.

Related to neptunian are trixensexual (a preference similar to bisexuality and polysexuality and consisting of the attraction to women and non-binary persons), trixic (a preference similar to trixensexual, but from the standpoint of non-binary persons and the attraction to women), venusic (the attraction of non-binary persons who are exclusively attracted to women, females and what are described as lunarians (although in this case there is overlap with some other interpretations within the LGBTQIA+ community)), nominsexual ( the attraction to everyone except those who are masculine) and uranic (the attraction to men, male-oriented non-binary persons and neutral non-binary persons).

More and more flags….

Yes, there are more and more flags to cover, if I wanted to. There are plenty of flags that were introduced in the years between 2000 and 2021. The power of social media was sometimes responsible for this. With the introduction of more flags, it makes it impossible to come up with such a thing as a complete list. Some websites claim that they do. I claim that I don’t. In this article, you will not find all the flags that are part of the LGBTQIA+ community. This has everything to do with the usage and representation of the flags. Not all the flags are presented at events such as a Pride Walk or a Pride Parade. Some flags are just ‘dropped’ online. That is not to say that these flags would be fewer.

A flag is a symbol to indicate and express. When it comes to the LGBTQIA+ flags, it’s about showing your identity, your gender or your preference. Something that you are not always allowed and not able to do because you are seen as “different.” A Pride Flag (so the general name, not the original flag) goes much further than, for example, a family coat of arms or a company logo. This goes into the deeper soul. This is the way to show: we are still here. Give us a place under the rainbow.

As far as I’m concerned, that rainbow is big enough, long enough and diverse enough to be there. No, in fact: to be there!

My quest for flags does not end here. Every time I come across a new flag, I will see what I can find about it on the internet or I will ask my child. Wanneer ik het heb over mijn kind, dan kan dit net zo goed  mijn dochter zijn. Zij is een Ally van haar brusje (Dutch for broer / zus). That is our eldest child. So our oldest child is non-binary. I’ve written about that before. The information in this article is not exhaustive when I also pay attention to the concepts of gender identity, gender expression and Sexual orientation

 

Gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation

The flags discussed above go beyond just gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation. The flags ensure that the terms can be used in combination. Can be, because that doesn’t always have to be the case.

Gender identity

That is what you feel inside. The most common examples are women and men. Well, these are the traditional gender identities. When taking a look at the LGBTQIA+ community, you must add identities to this list. Think about the identities that I discussed in this article, but there are more. On this website, you can find more information about gender identities.

Gender expression

Expression is actually what you see on the outside. This is the public expression of your gender identity. What comes to mind? Well, hair styling, clothes, make-up and even voice and body language. Well, if you are a person who will link this to gender or a specific gender. This makes an interesting discussion. What is ‘typical’ feminine or masculine? Remember that judging someone openly in public (words and writing) is considered to be illegal in countries. Well, it is in the country I live in (The Netherlands).

Sexual orientation

Is the choice of words correct? Shouldn’t this be sexuality? Perhaps, perhaps not. It forces us to think about important things. It also forces us, if we’re willing to go the extra mile, to not label persons based on their sexual preferences or sexual orientation.

Your sexual orientation is related to concepts such as sexual orientation, sexual orientation, preference, and sexual identity. Yet the orientation is different. It’s about what you want, sexually. Your desire, thoughts and your fantasies.

In the country, I live in and in the European Union did their best to come up with some effort to protect all of this. Not enough, if you ask me. Discrimination based on the way you love or even live your life according to your sexual orientation should be protected even more I think.

My quest

Why does a stay-at-home dad who writes share so much information about topics such as these? Furthermore, can’t others (from the LGBTQIA+ community) do this better? The last question deserves “yes” as an answer. That results in just one question in general: why do I write about things such as these. Well, it has nothing to do with mansplaining. This is my quest.

My quest started the day that my eldest child came out to us. A brave moment in their young life. Where others struggle for years and years with the best option to come out, my eldest one said it at one time. This was the start of a journey. Not only for them, but also for us as parents.

I don’t know everything and I don’t claim to know everything. The fact that I present information in this article is the result of my search. There may not be anything new in this article. That’s not the point. The point is that maybe I can reach someone who doesn’t know much about it yet. It also shows that I want to figure things out.

Using the right words

No doubt I have fallen into known pitfalls. I might have been misinformed in some cases, without even knowing this. At some moments I found it right to use the right words. Because I don’t want to be disrespectful to anyone. That I might have used the wrong words, doesn’t make this a flame or an attempt to ridicule. Also, this is not mansplaining done by another cishet man. This is, again, my quest. A quest that takes me to topics and subjects that are new for me. Using the right words when writing is essential for me. If I didn’t perform well, please let me know. There is a lot for me to learn.

What I am not interested in is reading words of hate. Words of hate are written from the perspective that this all is bad. I chose the positive approach. Does that make me blind to the hate towards the LGBTQIA+ community? No. I read about the examples of hate, discrimination and even violence.

I’m curious which subject I can research again next time, to learn more about it. Until then, I’ll just close with the words I almost always end with:

What do I know about it now, that’s why I’m going to vacuum again.

Vacuum cleaner

Then there’s just this…

It’s not possible to publish all of this without adding a section that addresses whether I want to expose my children to this. We raise our children in freedom. We teach the children that there is more than what is seen as the standard by society.

In some cases, we don’t have to tell you what certain things mean yet. I mainly refer to the parts about sexual preference. What we will tell you about: that standard is not the rule for everyone. We teach them to think about the different possibilities there are to be yourself. Without that sexual part. Unfortunately, we live in a society where it is thought that the sexual part seems to be important. So when you talk about love between two people of the same sex, the sexual part is immediately thought of. Love goes beyond that. It’s not always about the act. You can, but it doesn’t have to. Being yourself, understanding yourself is much more important.

The quest that my oldest child embarked on was also the beginning of a quest for me, as I mentioned earlier.

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