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June is Pride Month, Part 4

Updated: Jun 26, 2021

June is Pride Month, a monthlong celebration of LGBTQ history, accomplishments, and community

Throughout the month of June, we will focus on different aspects of Pride in the eMinder and on the Web site. If you have a Pride-related story you would like us to share, please contact us!

Reston Pride 2021

Dulles Triangles had a table at this year’s abbreviated live Pride event in Reston. Despite being open for a reduced time, Pride was heavily attended and so was our table! By one estimate, at least 2,000 people were there. It was great seeing so many familiar faces and—and making lots of new acquaintances! We hope 2022 will grow even more. A few photos from the event follow. You can see more on our Web site gallery and we’d love to include any photos you took, too.

Pride Flags and Symbols

Humans are a tribal species, and we create and apply symbols to identify whether individuals are part of “our tribe” or not.

Imposed by the Nazi regime and used to identify homosexual¹ prisoners in the death camps, the pink triangle (left) is one of the earliest “gay” symbols. Other “asocial” prisoners, including lesbians, were sometimes forced to wear black triangles instead, while homosexual Jews wore the yellow Star of David symbol with the pink triangle superimposed.

As the concept of “gay liberation” grew in the postwar years and a sense of community began to build around the world, activists co-opted the Nazi symbol of hate and many gay and lesbian people began to deliberately wear prink (or black) triangle buttons as a way of reclaiming the image for themselves. When the AIDS epidemic started to decimate the community, the activist organization ACT-UP adopted the triangle as a symbol of its resistance and protest against political indifference and blatant discrimination.

In 1978, for the San Francisco Gay Pride march, Gilbert Baker was asked to design a “rainbow Pride flag.” He designed the flag as a “symbol of hope” and liberation, intending it to be an alternative to the symbolism of the pink triangle, but the original designs were not what we all recognize today. Initially, there were eight stripes, with the top-most being pink and the blue stripe in more of a turquoise shade.

As time passed and awareness of the diversity of communities that make up today’s LGBTQIA+ “tribe,” a number of new symbols have been developed and adopted by groups to show their pride in their individual identities. While the “rainbow flag” is still often seen as “the flag” of our umbrella community, each of the new flags and symbols showcase the pride, solidarity, diversity, and ongoing seeking of inclusivity for all that we continually strive for. In 2019, DTs held a t-shirt design contest. The winning design (shown to the right, with the DTs logo added in the middle) highlighted a variety of these symbols of pride. Below, thanks to Wikipedia, is a sample of some of the many symbols of community Pride in use today.

No matter which flag you might fly—if any!—take pride in who you are. We are all uniquely diverse and equally important.

—— ¹ Like most bigots, the Nazis were not particularly consistent when defining all of the groups they feared and hated. “Homosexuals” often included bisexuals, transgender and transsexuals, etc., with little real distinction beyond being enemies of the State. By some estimates, 60,000+ “homosexuals” were executed in death camps or by the Nazi state.

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