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Symbols Plus

Gay men in Nazi death camps were required to wear Pink Triangles on their uniforms to identify them for special abuse. The Pink Triangle is a symbol of the phrase "Never Forget, Never Again."

The Black Triangle was used to identify "socially unacceptable" women, according to the Nazis. Lesbians were included in this classification. Now, Lesbians have reclaimed the Black Triangle as our symbol in defiance of repression and discrimination.

A Pink & Blue Triangle Overlapping is a symbol of BiSexuality.

Green Carnations were worn by men in Oscar Wilde's generation to identify themselves as Gay.

The Color Lavender was chosen to represent Gays and Lesbians because it is a mixture of blue and pink, thereby creating a fusion of genders. Lavender became popular in American lesbian circles in the 1930s as a colloquial term for other lesbians.

Our Red Ribbon is a symbol of compassion and awareness. It is worn in remembrance of the many who died and in support for our brothers and sisters who are afflicted with AIDS and HIV related disease.

The Lavender Ribbon ... Thousands of Lesbian mothers and Gay fathers are denied custody and/or visitation rights with their children each year. The Lavender Ribbon is worn to raise people's awareness of these tragic For more information call (206) 325-2643 for the Lesbian Mother's National Defense Fund.

The Pink Ribbon ... Each year thousands of women die of breast cancer. According to one report, Lesbians are more likely than heterosexual women to be diagnosed with breast cancer because they tend to smoke and drink more and are less likely to have children. The Pink Ribbon is worn to raise awareness about the devastating number of women that breast cancer effects and to encourage support toward finding a cure.

Blue Ribbon, will be a way to raise awareness of online censorship and freedom issues, from locally to globally. EFF and other civil liberties groups ask that a blue ribbon be displayed to show support for the essential human right of free speech, a fundamental building block of free society, affirmed by the U.S. Bill of Rights in 1791, and by the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.

The Lambda ... On the eve of a protest in 1969, the Lambda was chosen by Gay and Lesbian organizations in New York and New Jersey as the symbol of liberation. The Lambda is the eleventh letter of the Greek alphabet and represents "L" for liberation. It was discovered later that Spartan platoons made up solely of homosexual men had this symbol emblazoned on their shields. In 1974, the first International Gay Rights Congress convened in Scotland, and accepted the Lambda as the International symbol for Gay and Lesbian rights.

Gender Symbols are common astrological signs handed down from ancient Roman times. The pointed Mars symbol represents the male and the Venus symbol with the cross represents the female. Double interlocking male symbols have been used by gay men since the 1970s. Double interlocking female symbols have often been used to denote lesbianism.

In the Mercury Gender Symbol itself, the crescent moon at the top is supposed to represent the masculine, and the cross at the bottom represents the feminine. The ring represents the individual, with the male and the female balanced at either side.

The astrological sign of Mercury is traditionally the symbol of transgendered peoples. In Greek mythology, Hermes (the Greek version of the Roman god Mercury) and Aphrodite (the goddess of love) had a child named Hermaphroditus. That child possessed both male and female sexual organs, hence the term hermaphrodite. Also, rituals associated with the worship of Aphrodite are believed to have been highly sexual, involving castration, transvestism, and homosexual relations.

Freedom Rings, designed by David Spada are six aluminum rings. They have come to symbolize independence and tolerance of others.

The Labrys is a symbol of power and pride worn by many Lesbians. It is a double-headed axe said to have been either a battle axe used by Amazon women or an agricultural tool. Today, the Labrys has become a symbol of Lesbian and feminist strength and self-sufficiency.

In addition, the labrys also played a part in ancient mythology. Demeter, the goddess of earth, used a labrys as her sceptor. Rites associated with the worship of the Demeter, as well as Hercate (the goddess if the underworld), are believed to have involved lesbian sex.

Another obscure symbol from the 1970s is the Lavender Rhinocerus. Supposedly used as an activist symbol, it was chosen because the rhino is generally a peaceful animal, but when provoked becomes extremely ferocious.

John Petrie said, "The lavender rhinoceros was created as a symbol to increase awareness of the presence of gays and lesbians in American Society. It was created by two Boston artists, Daniel Thaxton and Bernie Toale. Its first appearance was in a series of Boston subway posters during 1973. The rhinoceros is characterized by a peaceful demeanor until threatened, and so seemed an appropriate symbol for the years following Stonewall. The heart on the rhinoceros reflects the common humanity of all people, and the color lavender is a symbol of our identity.

Black, Blue & White Stripes with a Red Heart is a symbol of Leather Pride. It was created by Tony DeBlase and first displayed in 1989, the Leather Pride Flag is universally recognized as a symbol of those with leather, S/M/B/D, uniform, latex, western and other fetishes.

The International Bear Brotherhood Flag was created by Craig Byrnes in 1995, and it's design represents the fur colors and nationalities of bears throughout the world. A symbol used by some "bears," gay men marked by an abundance of hair on their face, chest and body. There are other symbols that represents bears and are used by local clubs, bars and other bear groups.

The Rainbow is a symbol of lesbian and gay pride, and of the diversity and many colors of our community. The rainbow flag originated in the 70's in San Francisco's Castro district as an alternative to the American flag. It is now a recognized symbol of Pride throughout the United States and Europe.