Top LGBTQ Symbols

Top Common LGBTQ Symbols

You are probably familiar with the two most common LGBT symbols, the pink triangle and, of course, the rainbow flag. These are well-known on an international level. In the LGBT community, there are many different symbols used to represent unity, pride, and shared values. They are also used to demonstrate our allegiance to each other.

The Ace Ring

Figure 1By Cosmia - http://www.asexuality.org/en/index.php?showtopic=41549, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10763665

The ace ring is a black ring. It is worn on the middle finger of the right hand. This symbol represents asexuality and helps members of the community identify. The ring is purposefully worn similar to a wedding ring that symbolizes marriage. The first use of the Ace ring was in 2005.

Ace Cards

In recent years, “asexual” has been shortened to “ace.” For this reason, the ace playing card is often used to represent asexuality. The ace of hearts symbolizes romantic asexuality, and the ace of spades is symbolic of aromantic asexuality. The ace of clubs symbolizes gray asexuality; and the ace of diamonds is used to represent demisexuals and demi-romantics.

A Blue Feather

Blue feathers are often displayed in the LBGT community. This indicates an affiliation with the Clan Blue Feather, a group of SCA members who promote the study of LGBT culture in the Middle Ages. Blue feathers are also common at events such as Pagan gatherings and Renaissance Fairies.

Calamus Plants

Many believe the Calamus plant was used by Walt Whitman, an American poet. According to history, he used it to represent homoerotic love.

Double-Gender Symbols

 

Interlocking gender symbols were first used in the 1970s. The two symbols were derived from the astronomical symbol for planets Mars and Venus. Venus has been used to represent the female sex, and

Mars represents the male sex. Two interlocking female symbols represent the lesbian community. Two interlocking male symbols are used to represent the gay male community.

Freedom Rings

David Spada designed the freedom rings, which are comprised of six aluminum rings. Each ring is one of the colors from the rainbow flag. The freedom rings were released in 1991. They are used to symbolize diversity, and they are worn in a variety of ways. They are worn as part of a necklace or bracelet. Key chains often bear this symbol. They are often called “fruit loops.”

The Handkerchief Code

In New York, in the early 20th century, gay men often wore a red bow tie or necktie to send a subtle signal to others. However, in the ‘70s, the handkerchief or bandana was displayed from the back pocket. The bandanas were specific colors to signal and distinguish between the various sexual interests and fetishes.

The High Five

There are a lot of different stories for the origins of the high five. The best-documented story occurred on October 2, 1977, between Los Angeles Dodgers Glenn Burke and Dusty Baker. The other documented occurrence happened during the 1978-1979 men’s college basketball season between Wiley Brown and Derek Smith, both part of the Louisville Cardinals team. After Burke retired from baseball, he became one of the first professional athletes to be openly gay. Burke also used a high five with other gay residents in the Castro district of San Francisco. In this region, the high five became a sign of gay pride.

Lambda

By Thomas Linard - Own workFrom https://github.com/octaviopardo/EBGaramond12, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=68300958

Lambda is a lower-case letter in the Greek alphabet. Tom Doerr, a graphic designer, used the symbol in 1970 to represent the Gay Activists Alliance of New York. According to literature available from the alliance, Doerr used the Greek letter because of its meaning in the context of physics and chemistry. In these contexts, it represents “a complete exchange of energy-that moment or span of time witness to absolute activity.” It didn’t take long for the symbol to become associated with Gay Liberation. In 1974, the International Gay Rights Congress of Edinburgh, Scotland, officially made it the international symbol for gay and lesbian rights. Both the American Lambda Literary Foundation and the Lambda Legal organization developed their names based on this symbol.

The Lavender Rhinoceros

The lavender rhinoceros symbol was created by Bernie Toale and Daniel Thaxton. It was created for a public ad campaign designed to increase visibility of gay people in the Boston area. The ad campaign was directed by Gay Media Action-Advertising. According to Toale, the rhinoceros was chosen because the animal is often “maligned and misunderstood.” The color lavender was chosen because it is made by mixing pink and blue. Thus, it is a symbol that merges both the masculine and the feminine. In 1974, however, Metro Transit Advertising determined that their lawyers were not able to “determine eligibility of the public service rate” for lavender rhinoceros’ ads, so they tripled the costs. The Gay Media Action unsuccessfully challenged the decision. Later in 1974, at the Boston Pride Parade, the lavender rhinoceros was seen on t-shirts, pins, and signs. Also, a life-sized papier-mache lavender rhinoceros was featured in the parade. By December of 1974, money was raised to run the ads on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s Green line. The ad ran there through February of 1975. After that, the lavender rhinoceros continued to represent the gay community. It appeared at the Boston Pride Parade in 1976 and was on the flag that was raised in 1987 at the Boston City Hall.

 By Di (they-them), rhinoceros made by Þórý Veðardóttir - Own work, rhinoceros used from http://heraldicart.org/rhinoceros/, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=89113843

 

Purple Hand

In 1961, the San Francisco Examiner ran a series of news articles that were derogatory toward people in the community’s gay clubs and bars. On October 31, a protest was staged outside the news outlet’s office. 60 members of the Gay Guerilla Theatre group, the Committee for Homosexual Freedom, and the Gay Liberation Front participated in the protest. Although it began as a peaceful protest, it turned violent and was later referred to as “Friday of the Purple Hand” and it was also called, “Bloody Friday of the Purple Hand.” Some of the employers at the Examiner dumped a barrel of printing ink on the crowd from the roof of their building. The protestors used the ink to write slogans on the walls of the building. They also slapped purple handprints on various buildings in downtown San Francisco. It was a visible representation of gay power. A tactical squad arrived to arrest the protestors rather than the individuals who poured the ink out. It became a case of police brutality with many protestors being thrown to the ground and some getting their teeth knocked out. Some groups tried to use the purple handprint as a warning to stop the anti-gay attacks, but it was not successful.

Transgender Symbol

To represent transgender people, a symbol incorporating the female, male, and genderqueer symbols around a circle was created.  We do have transgender symbol merchandise.

 By User:ParaDox – en:User:ParaDox – de:Benutzer:ParaDox - Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=942651

 

Unicorn

The unicorn has become a symbol of the culture of the LGBT community. Earlier associations of the animal and the rainbow influenced this transition.  Our unicorn merchandise can be a fun addition.

The Green Carnation

The color green represented homosexual affiliations in 19th century England. Victorian gay men pinned a green carnation on their lapel as a symbol to others. It was popularized by Oscar Wilde, who was openly gay and often donned a green carnation on his lapel.

 

Violets

The violet hue and the violet flower is a symbol often used by bisexual women and lesbians. In her poetry, Sappho often describes a lover who is wearing a crown or garlands of violets. In 1926, La Prisonneire the play by Edouard Bourdet used a violet bouquet to signify lesbian love. Later, when the play fell prey to censorship, many lesbians in Paris started wearing violets to demonstrate their solidarity with the lesbian community.

  

By AnonMoos - Own workThis is an approximate vector conversion of Image:Dubble_venus.png, with imposed symmetrization., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3472948

 

Lesbian, Homosexual, Transgender

The astronomical symbol for the planet Venus is used to represent the female sex. Combining the two female symbols in an interlocking pattern is the symbol used to represent lesbian, homosexual, and transgender persons.

Double Male Symbol

The double male symbol is used to represent male homosexuality. Since the symbol for Mars is often recognized as a symbol for men, the two male symbols are combined to represent same sex attraction between men.  We have beautiful male symbol jewelry items.

Biangles

Overlapping pink and blue triangles was originally designed for use by the Boston Bi Woman’s Community. They are commonly referred to as Biangles or bisexuality triangles. The design includes an iconic pink triangle, a blue triangle, and lavender where the two meet. Pink represents same-sex attraction. The blue triangle represents straight, or attraction to the opposite sex. And the lavender created in the overlap represents sexual attraction to both sexes.

 

Double Moon

The double moon symbol is used to represent bisexuality. The colors are the same as used in the bisexual pride flag. The double moons were created to avoid using triangles. Many felt the triangles were too similar to those symbols used in Nazi concentration camps.

 

Interlocking Biological Symbols

This version of a symbol for bisexuality consists of a male sign and a female sign. The two signs are connected in such a way that it creates an infinity symbol, or a section-8. The two are interlinked with a circle.

Labrys Symbol

 

The Labrys is styled after the ancient Minoan sacred double-headed axe. It is used to symbolize lesbian feminism.

Pansexual Symbol

 

The symbol often used to represent the pansexual community is comprised of a P with an arrow       and a crossed tail. The cross tail is part of the cross on the Venus symbol used to represent women. The arrow is taken from the Mars symbol that is used to represent men. The symbol was in use long before the pansexual pride flag was in use.

 

Trans Feminist Symbol

 

The trans feminist symbol combines the transgender symbol with a feminism symbol. The feminism symbol is a Venus symbol with a fist of power in the center.