Notice, though, that the rainbow is not a gay simbol. The rainbow is about diversity in sexuality (that's to say, the ability of getting off whatever you like), and it is about tolerance.

A strictly gay symbol would be the pink triangle.

You will notice that the rainbow is also used by practicants of BDSM, transgendered people ...

Hey, BDSM people and others do advertise their interests on their cars; you just don't recognize the bondage flag when you see it, just like my mom didn't know what the rainbow meant until I told her. One of my favorite cars in the apartment complex I used to live in (though I never met its owner) had a license plate indicating the owner had received a Purple Heart, and on either sides of the license plate rainbow and bondage flag stickers. (Someone had guts.)

funny how people call it the "gay rainbow". there's nothing inherently gay about it. it's a rainbow in one of its most simplest permutations.

however, if used as a banner or a flag, it's a pride flag, symbolic of gay pride, lesbian pride, GLBT pride, queer pride, whatever.. that's what i always learned it as. what the rainbow comes to stand for, however, is a bit tricky. most people say it represents diversity orientation or sexual practices. i think that's true but i believe it more to be representative of the continuum of sexuality. that sexuality isn't so black and white as people are wont to think.

its usage is another thing. folks say that they find it annoying that someone were to announce their sexual orientation like that. this brings in the whole pride thing and solidarity thing that someone else brought up. much like a flag of some nation out for the world to see in the form of a bumper sticker or whatnot, it shows an individual pride in what and who the person is. be it italian or irish or gay. and despite what people may think, gay is also a culture and not just a sexual preference.

now, what's so wrong with being proud of who or what you are?

now, as for me, i find this topic interesting. i mean, as an oppressed people, signs are developed so that one could spot one of their own. ..a hidden language of signals and whatnot. spotting a pride flag and recognizing it for what it is ensures a kind of safety and familiarity. usually the ones who can recognize it are those who are knowledgeable of such things and not the bashers and violent types that are unwelcomed by these peoples.

First, I am not proud that I am gay. I am proud that I don't live in fear, and that I have been able to take that courageous step out of the closet and into a very welcoming LGBT community.

Secondly, I would like to make the distinction between a rainbow and a "gay rainbow". It seems a little petty, but a normal rainbow has seven colors - Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet, whereas the gay rainbow has only six - Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Violet. Why?

*engages History Mode*

In 1978, the first gay rainbow flag was introduced in the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Freedom Day Parade. Artist Gilbert Baker designed two prototype flags with eight colors (the aforementioned, plus hot pink and turquoise). These colors each represented some aspect of the LGBT community: hot pink for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sun, green for nature, turquoise for art, blue for harmony, and violet for spirit.

Unfortunately, hot pink was unavailable for commercial reproduction and the flag needed an even amount of colors, so pretty soon hot pink and turquoise were nixed. And thus we remain with the six colors of today.

There are countless variations of these flags. Among them is the "Victory Over AIDS" flag that contains a black stripe at the bottom to honor all of those who have lost their lives to AIDS.

And suddenly I realize that this information was available at rainbow flag.

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