The Gay and Lesbian Pride Flag is a proposed sexual orientation flag created in 2022 for use by the associated LGBT community. It is intended to unify people who identify as gay and lesbian in a coherent way. The flag is named the gay and lesbian flag to respect the often difficult relationship than many gay and lesbian people have with the history of homosexual as a term and to instead focus on the important unification of same sex attraction based communities that were once quite separate.
Homosexuality encompasses a wide variety of inter-related preferences and expressions, including butch and femme, top and bottom and everything in-between. At its most basic level, homosexuality is an attraction to members of the same sex. The term gay largely refers to men attracted to other men while lesbian refers to women attracted to other women.
Each of the two colors of this flag have distinct yet overlapping meanings.
Historically speaking, green has most commonly been associated with homosexual men – such as in Victorian England. This is most typified by Oscar Wilde’s green carnation. There are also echoes of green being a color for erotic love in the Middle Ages as well as Ancient Rome. Green is also a color of youth, vitality and virility. Alternatively, the color green and the myrtle plant was historically sacred to Aphrodite as well as weddings in more recent times. This aphrodisian association echoes the term uranian, which was an earlier term for gay men. It was derived from a Platonic conception of gay love being born from the heavens – like the celestial birth of Aphrodite.
The color violet however, and its associated flower, has similarly strong Victorian associations with homosexual or lesbian women. The purple violet was worn by lesbian women to reflect romanticist ideas about the Sapphic love of Ancient Greece. That said, the color lavender has been used in the LGBT community by homosexual people of both sexes for many decades. Lavender was also used in the hanky code to denote men who are interested in drag.
On the surface, green most represents gay men while violet or lavender most represents lesbian women. That said, though green has more frequent masculine connotations, because of its strong historical correspondences with ancient goddesses it could also be used for butch lesbians in addition to masc gay men – as well as soft butches of both sexualities. Conversely, lavender has more frequent feminine connotations, so it could be used for femme lesbians and fem gay men. Its association with drag queens could easily be extended to drag kings as well for similar reasons.
The two colors used in this flag are also directly complimentary, which aside from being visually appealing is also meant to reflect a more mature, amicable and sympathetic relationship between gay and lesbian people, and not the stereotypical animosity that has been perpetuated for decades – both by straight and gay people alike. A lot of proposed flags designs that refer to gay and lesbian people have expressed a desire for separation, whereas bisexual people have been content with a single flag for a long time now. Though it may be idealistic, it my hope to encourage harmony between people who share many of the same unique experiences as same sex attracted people.