You’re sitting in her day parlor, sipping a cup that tea and needlepointing a display screen with her female relatives. Then, a maid enters the parlor and also informs you the you have a visitor waiting for you in the drawing room. Girlfriend excuse yourself and enter the illustration room wherein you find Elizabeth Bennett, holding a bouquet of violets the she picked just for you.

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Hi, everyone! Welcome to my fantasy. For years I’ve daydreamed about what gift Elizabeth Bennett might carry me to express her true intentions (which ranged native a beautifully-written letter sealed in wax to a corgi puppy in basket), however now I recognize she would bring me violets. Violets are beautiful and adorable flower in general, but they’re likewise one the the much more famous symbols of woman homosexuality, maybe dating back to a poem in i m sorry Sappho explains herself and also her lover wearing garlands the violets:

If girlfriend forget me, think the our gifts to Aphrodite and all the loveliness that us shared

all the violet tiaras braided rosebuds, dill and crocus twined roughly your young neck


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Sappho


In the early on 20th century, women used to provide each other violets as a method of informing each other, “Hey, I favor like you,” in times as soon as it wasn’t easy or welcomed to say so in a much more overt manner. And, though the historical origins that the violet as a price of ladies liking females may have actually faded, the shade purple is quiet often associated with homosexuality, particularly in the specify name of the Lavender Menace and in the use of the ax “lavender lads” to define gay men during the “Lavender Scare” in the 1950s in the U.S.

Sadly, as we every know, it’s only freshly that open screens of homosexuality have begun to be welcomed by society, and also obviously there are still numerous places in the people where they space still met v disapproval, violence, and/or legal and also social persecution. But! The great thing is that also in unfriendly societies, us homos have always managed to discover our means to each other (call that the silver lining in the lavender cloud, if friend will). We’ve excellent so in a selection of ways, though visual symbols are often among the many recognizable. Few of these symbols might be acquainted to you, however even if castle aren’t, possibly they’ll provide you one idea of how to decorate her messenger bag or expand your tattoo sleeve.

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The Greek prize “Lambda”

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Lambda to be selected as a price by the happy Activists Alliance of brand-new York in the 1950s and was claimed the worldwide symbol because that gay and also lesbian rights by the global Gay legal rights Congress in 1974. It’s unsure how specifically lambda was adopted by the LGBT neighborhood or what it actually means but some renowned theories include: the charged power of the gay and also lesbian rights activity (since lambda symbolizes “energy” in chemistry and physics), the roman interpretation definition “the irradiate of knowledge shining into the darkness of ignorance,” or “the concept of gift on different wavelengths when it pertains to sex and sexuality.” There’s also this idea kicking approximately that lambda appeared on the shields that Spartan and/or Theban warriors in old Greece. The Thebes version is more popular because, as legend has it, the city-state organized the Theban military from teams of idealized lovers, which made them especially fierce and committed soldiers–though at some point the military was completely decimated by King Philip II, the father of Alexander the Great. Loan credence to this theory is the reality that the 1962 version of “300” depicted soldiers through lambdas on your shields. I never ever saw the 2006 variation so someone rather will have to confirm or refuse the perpetuity that lambda in that entirety situation.

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The Rainbow Flag(s)


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Gilbert Baker


In the 1970s, mountain Francisco artist Gilbert Baker recognized the require for a gay symbol that can be used throughout the pride Parade each year. Baker drew inspiration because that the very first version the the above rainbow flag from a variety of sources and also came up through a flag with eight color stripes, every representing a different facet of gay and lesbian life: hot pink because that sexuality, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for the sun, environment-friendly for nature, blue for art, indigo because that harmony, and violet because that spirit. Baker and also 30 volunteers hand-dyed and stitched the initial flag, but had to eliminate the pink stripe for massive production as result of a lack of commercially-available pink dye. When Harvey Milk was assassinated later on that year, the 1979 pride Parade Committee selected Baker’s flag together the symbol for the gay neighborhood to hold together in respect of Milk’s memory.


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The initial Rainbow Flag


In the 1979 san Francisco pride Parade, the color indigo was likewise removed therefore the colors can be evenly-distributed along the parade route, leaving us with the flag we understand today, through stripes the red, orange, yellow, green, blue and also purple. Today, there space many, plenty of varieties of the rainbow flag–you can stick a lambda on it, a fancy triangle, a star of David, everything you want! human being seem an especially fond of the rainbow flag/rainbows in general since they room all-encompassing: a rainbow flag endorses gay rights without do a statement around the human displaying it. And this, come me, is the many rockin’ thing about rainbow flags. If you chose not to, you don’t have to say anything about yourself, your sexytime partners, your experiences, think or feelings–you’re just rocking a rainbow, and also under the rainbow we’re every family. Rainbow flags and also stickers are frequently used to denote gay-friendly businesses, gay-friendly health and wellness facilities and really, that doesn’t desire to repaint their challenge in rainbow colors and also go to a parade filled with like-minded rainbow-philes? No one, that’s who. That doesn’t matter whether you’re a member of the LGBT neighborhood or simply a supporter of happy rights, rainbows typical love because that everyone and also are thus wonderful.

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Black Triangles

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One of the earliest symbols connected with the LGBT neighborhood is the triangle, which originated as one of the symbols used in Hitler’s Nazi concentration camps as a method to brand prisoners: male homosexual prisoners were made to wear a pink triangle, while females imprisoned for “arbeitsscheu” (“antisocial behavior”, consisting of feminism, lesbianism and prostitution) to be made come wear black triangles. Though there isn’t definitive evidence to prove that the black color triangles were worn through lesbians in the same way that pink triangles to be worn through gay masculine prisoners, in time the black triangle has evolved into among the more prominent signs of lesbianism, contemporaneously symbolizing defiance versus repression and also discrimination.

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Labrys

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I recognize you all totally know what a labrys is already, however juuuust in case you don’t: a labrys is a double-headed axe. The labrys was very first associated with the Greek goddesses Artemis (goddess of the hunt) and Demeter (goddess that the harvest) and also used in battle by Scythian Amazon warriors. The Amazons ruled through a dual-queen system and were known for being ferocious in battle. Though the labrys originally stood for independence/strength/chopping prowess, the has also been appropriated together a price of lesbianism.

Note indigenous commenter Nancy: The labrys is actually even older 보다 Artemis as goddess that the hunt, that goes all the means back come the Minoan people on crete roughly the 15th century BCE, back we space not really certain what it intended then because it is sooo lengthy ago! and while there were absolutely women warrior in Scythia and adjacent regions, the super speculative that they had actually the totality two-queen system and everything…that comes out of some quasi-history written by males like Herodotus.

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Double Venus

The double Venus symbol takes the clinical symbol for “female” (or “Venus”) and also doubles it–two females = girl and girl; Bette and also Tina; Ellen and also Portia, etc.

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Bisexuality Symbols

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In 1998, the official Bisexuality Flag was designed by Michael web page to stand for the bisexual community. The magenta strip represents same-sex attraction and the blue stripe at the bottom to represent opposite-sex attraction, if the smaller deep lavender (lavender!) strip in the middle represents attraction come both genders. Overlapping pink and blue triangle are additionally used to indicate bisexuality.

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Transgender Symbols

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In 2000, Monica Helms draft the first Transgender pride flag, i beg your pardon debuted at the Phoenix pride Parade in Arizona. Helms plan the flag to stand for the spectrum the trans* experience. “The irradiate blue is the classic color for baby boys, pink is because that girls, and the white in the middle is because that those who room transitioning, those who feel they have actually a neutral gender or no gender, and also those who space intersex. The sample is such the no issue which way you paris it, that will constantly be correct. This symbolizes us trying to find correctness in our own lives.” another popular symbol used to determine members that the the transgender community originates from the very same roots together the twin Venus: a circle through an arrowhead projecting from the top-right, together per the male symbol, and also a overcome projecting from the bottom, together per the mrs symbol, with an additional striked arrowhead (combining the female cross and male arrow) projecting from the top-left.

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The various other Stuff

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Purple Rhinoceros: In the 1970s happy activists in Boston decided the rhinoceros together their symbol because, prefer the gay civil liberties movement, if the rhino is frequently misunderstood that is in reality a docile and also intelligent pet until it is attacked–at which allude it’s more than likely going to steamroll your car. And guess what? It’s purple. Bam. Purple rhino.

Hare, Hyena and Weasel: these three animals were stated in an apocryphal message of the Bible, Barnabus, in i beg your pardon God warns versus eating the meat of the hare (associating it through anal sex), the hyena, which was at the time was believed to adjust gender once a year, and also the weasel, i m sorry was associated with lesbian sex. Why? that knows. Look just how cute, though!

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Thumb Rings: Popular culture seems to believe that if a woman wears a silver ignorance ring, she’s telling the world she’s a huge ole lesbian–though there appears to be part confusion over whether to wear that on the left or ideal thumb and also what the signifies.

Purple String: In part places, wearing a piece of violet string or hemp roughly your wrist is a sign of liking other girls: wear the on your left wrist if you room single, right if you are in a relationship. But then occasionally girls indigenous the UK say the this is reversed in Europe, including to the dilemma of what come do as soon as you walk to London top top vacay.

Sign Language for “Lesbian”: ~ above one forum ns read, a girl said that she and also her friend signal “lesbian” by the American authorize Language sign,” which entails making your thumb and also forefinger right into an ‘L’ and also sticking her chin between the two. I discover this amusing and wonderful and will usage it every the time.

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Nautical Star Tattoo: In the 1940s, many lesbians gained a nautical star tattooed on your inner wrist to advertise their sexuality. But then therefore did sailors and also punk rockers. No that the teams are support exclusive by any method (if you room lesbian seafarer punk rocker, I want to accomplish you). What does it seems to be ~ to be a specifying feature of tattoos indicating lesbianism is the they were often on the inside wrist, so ladies might cover castle up v a watch throughout the day and also expose them in ~ night once they to be out.

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Also, dolphins: In practically every online discussion I read, part sad-sounding girl would chime in to ask, “I thought dolphins were icons of lesbianism. What around dolphins?” Um, PREACH. Lack of historic criterion be damned, i say if we want dolphins, we can have dolphins. DOLPHINS!

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LGBT symbols are ever-evolving together time, culture and civil legal rights allow. If it’s vital to give a nod come the historic significance of using LGBT symbols during times and in areas where one had to be covert, the use of symbols, raised some exciting questions that perhaps you have thoughts about. How reliable is an LGBT price if members that the community may not acknowledge what the means? in ~ what point do “symbols” merge into the bigger topic that gaydar?

It really depends on what you want, whether it it is in acknowledging the battle of the past, your an individual feelings around your very own present, or pride in and also of itself. In the end symbolism and also the use of signs is just that–it’s the user the the price who gives it an interpretation and significance. Ultimately it’s a nice wonderful point that in numerous places, we don’t have to use icons to speak what we mean and also feel. But I’m just sayin’–if I watch a girl with an dearteassociazione.org ‘A’ sticker on she laptop, I’m going end to speak hi.