June is Pride month.
Read about how, over time, the rainbow flag has evolved to become more inclusive and intersectional.
The original Pride flag (below) was designed by Gilbert Baker, an openly gay activist born in 1951. He served in the US army for about two years, and, after an honorable discharge, taught himself to sew. In 1974, Baker met Harvey Milk, an influential gay leader, who three years later challenged Baker to come up with a symbol of pride for the gay community.
Baker's flag had eight stripes: hot pink, red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, indigo, and violet.
Today there are many variations of the flag.
In 2017, the City of Philadelphia added a black and a brown stripe to the existing pride flag, and hoisted it outside City Hall.
The version of the flag pictured here also includes light blue, light pink, and white, the colors of the transgender flag. That flag (pictured below), which was designed by Monica Helms, a trans woman, in 1999, was first flown at a Pride Parade in Phoenix the following year.
“The light blue is the traditional color for baby boys, pink is for girls, and the white in the middle is for those who are transitioning, those who feel they have a neutral gender or no gender, and those who are intersexed,” Helms noted.
“The pattern is such that no matter which way you fly it, it will always be correct. This symbolizes us trying to find correctness in our own lives.”