Breaking Down the Rainbow Flag: How Well Does it Truly Represent the LGBT Community

pa equality watch rainbow flag

Ah, to be a member of the gay community, a community as diverse as every color on its famous rainbow flag. How about that flag, huh? For me, it brings up a few different feelings. When I see it in a shop window, on someone’s car, or on someone’s face I think, “Oh, they’re probably cool with gay people or something.” And that’s nice.

But, to be honest? I don’t like the rainbow flag. There, I said it. I’m an out-and-proud gay man and I don’t like the rainbow flag.

Hear me out …

I don’t have a lot of gay friends.

Despite the fact that I think it’s greedy of gays to claim refracted light, I don’t dislike the rainbow flag for its ‘rainbowness.’ I dislike it for each of its color’s meanings. Yes, each color on our flag has its own distinct meaning, and frankly, I don’t agree with most of those meanings. I don’t feel like they accurately represent the community as a whole.

Let’s go through them, shall we?

RED stands for Life. I kind of understand that. Blood is red, blood gives you life; Red Cross helps save lives (never mind that the Red Cross still doesn’t accept gay blood …) But, to me, red is such an angry color. Every movie with the word ‘red’ in its title is a violent movie: Red Dawn, The Hunt for the Red October, Red Eye, Red Dragon, The Masque of the Red Death, so on and so forth. Why should we present ourselves as being so angry? No one will take us seriously if we’re just yelling all the time.

COLOR_WORD_ORANGE stands for Healing. Aside from the healing properties of Vitamin C, when I think of ‘orange’ and ‘healing,’ I think of prison rehabilitation jumpsuits. I know what you’re thinking, “OMG I love Orange is the New Black. That’s awesome!” Yeah, okay, Taylor Schilling is cute or whatever, but America hates its prisoners. A lot. You don’t expect most convicts to be able to land a decent job when they get out, so how can we expect to gain any credibility in the rights movement being associated with these types?

yellow stands for Sunshine. I kid you not. Stupid right? Moving on …



green stands for Nature. This makes sense. Environmentalism is very trendy right now. The climate change movement is a very important cause to be part of, etc … But is it a gay cause? What do we get out of saving the world’s environment? I don’t think I’ve ever heard an environmentalist say that gay marriage rights should be a priority. So, you know what? I don’t think we should take part in this whole green trend if they’re not going to take the time to care about gays.

BLUE stands for Serenity and Harmony. But, to me, blue is such a sad color. When you’re feeling gay you’re not really feeling blue are you?



violet stands for Spirit. Frankly, I think violet is a perfect color for representing the gay community. One, it’s the color of extravagance and royalty, and we’re a bunch of flamboyant queens, right? It’s also the color of two NFL teams: the Minnesota Vikings and the Baltimore Ravens. Ignoring the Vikings meh record and the Ravens bad publicity, that is some hot muscular man-on-man action. That’s gay as shit!

And, did you know, that at the end of the first decade of the 21st century ‘violet’ had become an increasingly popular tie option amongst world and business leaders? That’s because it combines the assertiveness and confidence of a red necktie with the peace and cooperation of a blue necktie. And it totally goes well with a blue suit. So, violet is a confident mixture of extreme masculinity and glittery flamboyance, which is kinda all-encompassing, eh? I say let’s just get rid of all those other colors and start waving violet flags.

Something to think about. Do you feel as though our rainbow flag accurately represents the gay community? How do you express your pride for the gay community? I may not like the rainbow flag, but that doesn’t mean I’m somehow ‘not gay enough,’ ‘not a good gay’ or any variation of that. There’s an unfortunate attitude in the gay world that suggests that you’re either all in with the culture, or you’re against it. For a community that prides itself on its diversity—like the many colors of the rainbow flag—it sometimes feels like one or two colors are the only acceptable ones. And the rest? Well, we can’t sit with them.