VISIBLE

Symbols of the Queer Community

1. Black and Pink Triangles 

Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1993-051-07, Tafel mit KZ-Kennzeichen (Winkel) retouched
via http://remember.org/witness/wit-vic-homo 

Relevant to the Visible publication, small black triangles were historically used to target queer people during the Holocaust. The LGBTQ+ community has re-claimed this shape which once induced cruelty and suffering into a power move of positivity. This explains Visible’s logo. The pink letter V is to represent the pink color of triangles that were tattooed on homosexual men of the Holocaust and the black triangle within it symbolizes the black ones that were tattooed onto homosexual women. Creative, right?

2. Rainbow (duh)

via https://www.instagram.com/p/BwAPTVWlSJY/ 

When people think of being gay, they think of rainbows. The reason behind this started in the year of 1978 with a man named Gillbert Baker. Baker was was a longtime vexillographer, which is a fancy word for flagmaker. The rainbow flag made its debut in San Francisco’s Gay Freedom Day Parade on June 25th 2019. Jeffrey J. Iovannone of Medium.com explains that “He [Gillbert Baker] decided to create a flag because flags represent sovereignty and power. A flag would proclaim that gays were a people, a family, a tribe. And flags meant visibility”. 

3. The Equal Sign

via Flickr

The Human Rights Campaign was started by Steve Endean in 1980. The aim of such political action committee was “to provide financial support on behalf of the gay and lesbian community to political candidates who supported gay civil rights legislation”. For a community that historically has been subjugated, this symbol demands equality. The sign was made as the campaign’s logo and now can be seen on shirts and stickers to support the LGBTQ+ community. 

4. Unicorns

via Flickr 

Although the the link of LGBTQ+ culture and unicorns are unknown, if you’ve ever been to a gay pride festival of any kind, you have undeniably seen an abundance of them…everywhere. Jamie Wareham of gaystarnews.com believes that this association is “because they represent otherness, freedom and the ability to transform”. As for my personal belief, I think that the combination of a strong animal such as a horse with something light and airy is a mythological fusion that is appealing to a community that blurs lines as well. 

5. The Lambda 

Rainbow flag
via https://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/qq-lbd.html 

The lambda is a lowercase letter ‘L’ in Greek and represents unity and liberation in regard to the LGBTQ+ community. The symbol was officially accepted in 1970 by the Gay Activists Alliance according to qrd.org. Many associate with the lambda because of it’s nonchalance and difficulty in being noticed as a gay symbol by those who may be homophobic.

Tori Powell

Tori Powell

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