Derived from the astrological symbol for Mars, the Greek god of war and patron of warriors. The arrow can be seen as a phallic symbol. A double man's symbol represents man loving man.
Also known as "the Mirror of Venus". The single symbol represents the planet Venus as well as femininity. The double woman's symbol represents woman loving woman.
This symbol typically starts with the sex the bisexual person and adds a male symbol on one side and a female on the other; a combination of the straight and gay symbols.
Transgendered people have two symbols to choose from:
Mercury's symbol has a cross extending down to represent femininity and a crescent moon at the top to represent masculinity. The two are placed at opposite ends of the circle to strike a balance between the male and female parts. This symbol seems to speak more to those transgendered persons who identify as intersex or androgynous.
The second and most obvious is a merging of the male and female symbols rather than interlocking. By putting both the cross and the arrow on the same ring, it symbolizes the male and female parts inherent in one person. This symbol is the most inclusive of the two and the most recognizable.
The symbol was originally used by the Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) of New York in 1970. Because of its official adoption by the GAA, the lower case Greek letter lambda became a way for the gay community to identify each other. The reasoning was that the lambda would easily be mistaken for a college fraternity symbol and ignored by most people.
The pink triangle, now a gay pride and gay rights symbol, was originally used to denote homosexual men as a Nazi concentration camp badge.
Similar to the pink triangle, the black triangle was originally used to identify women in the Nazis concentration camps who were deemed homosexual and has now been reclaimed by the Lesbian community as a symbol of Pride.
The Rainbow Flag first appeared in 1978, when it was flown during the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Freedom Day Parade. Gilbert Baker, a San Francisco artist, designed the rainbow flag in response to a need for a symbol that could be used year after year. Baker borrowed symbolism from the civil rights and hippie movements, and created a flag that has gained worldwide recognition. The different colors of the flag symbolize different components of the community: red for life, orange for heading, yellow for sun, green for nature, blue for art, and purple for spirit.
Victory Over AIDS Flag
The Victory over AIDS Flag modifies the rainbow flag by adding a black stripe at the bottom. Suggested by a San Francisco group, the black stripe commemorates those we have lost to AIDS. Sergeant Leonard Matlovich, a much decorated Vietnam Veteran dying of AIDS, proposed that when a cure is eventually found the black stripes should be removed from all the flags and ceremoniously burned in Washington, D.C.
Human Rights Campaign
As America's largest gay and lesbian organization, the Human Rights Campaign provides a national voice on gay and lesbian issues. The Human Rights Campaign effectively lobbies Congress; mobilizes grassroots action in diverse communities; invests strategically to elect a fair-minded Congress; and increases public understanding through innovative education and communication strategies.
HRC is a bipartisan organization that works to advance equality based on sexual orientation and gender expression and identity, to ensure that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.
The symbol was created by the Swedish radical art collective "Interacting arts" as a symbol for those who reject all normative ideas of how relationships "should" be organized.
The black stripe represents asexuality, the grey stripe grey-asexuality and the demisexuals, the white stripe sexuality and the purple stripe community.
Bear is an affectionate term for a subculture in the gay community. Bears tend to have hairy bodies and facial hair; some are heavy-set; some project working-class masculiinity; none of these are requirements or unique indicators. There is ongoing debate in bear communities about what constitutes a bear. Some state that self-identifying as a bear is the only requirement, while others argue that bears must have certain physical characteristics. "Bears" are almost always gay or bisexual men, though increasingly transgender men are also included.
This rectangular flag consists of a broad magenta stripe at the top, representing same-gender attraction; a broad stripe in blue at the bottom, representing opposite-gender attraction; and a narrower deep lavender band occupying the central fifth, which represents attraction towards both genders.
The bisexual moon symbol was created to avoid the use of the Nazi-originated pink triangle.
The origin of the symbol is ambiguous. It is thought that the pink triangle may represent homosexuality and the blue heterosexuality. The color lavender has been associated with homosexuality for almost a century. It's possible that pink represents attraction to females, blue to males, and lavender to both.
Pink and Yellow Triangles
Used to tag Jewish members of the LGBTQ community in Nazi concentration camps during World War II.
Leather culture denotes practices and styles of dress organized around sexual activities and eroticism ("kink"). Wearing leather garments is one way that participants in this culture distinguish themselves from mainstream sexual cultures. Leather culture is most visible in gay communities, but is also reflected in the lesbian, bisexual, and straight communities.
The labrys was used in the ancient civilization of Minoan Crete. In modern times, it is often used to represent lesbian and feminist strength and self-sufficiency.
"Love Outside the Box"
The polyamory movement has introduced the "love outside the box" symbol for use by polyamorous, non-monogamous, and LGBTQ individuals.
On Oct. 31, 1969, sixty members of the Gay Liberation Front and the Society for Individual Rights staged a protest at San Francisco's Examiner in response to news articles disparaging LGBT people. The peaceful protest turned tumultuous and was later called "Friday of the Purple Hand" and "Bloody Friday of the Purple Hand". Examiner employees dumped a bag of printers' ink from the third story window of the newspaper building onto the crowd. The protestors used the ink to scrawl "Gay Power" and other slogans on the building walls and stamp purple hand prints throughout San Francisco resulting in one of the most visible demonstrations of gay power. According to Larry LittleJohn, then president of SIR, a tactical squad arrived to arrest the demonstrators. The accounts of police brutality include women being thrown to the ground and protesters' teeth being knocked out.
The flag contains light blue for baby boys, pink for baby girls, white for those who are transitioning, intersex, or feel that have a neutral gender.
Depicts a circle with an arrow projecting from the top-right, as per the male symbol, a cross projecting from the bottom, as per the female symbol, and with an additional striked arrow (combining the female cross and male arrow) projecting from the top-left.
Unity of Love
In addition to major symbols of the LGBTQ community, other symbols (such as this one) have been used to represent members' unity, pride, shared values, and allegiance to one another.