The LGBT community, also known as the LGBTQ+ community, GLBT community, gay community, or queer community, is a diverse group of individuals including lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender individuals, and others who identify as queer. They are united by a shared culture and a common goal of advocating for their rights through social movements.

Within the gay community, certain symbols hold significant meaning, with the rainbow flag being the most widely recognized. Other symbols used to represent acceptance within the community include the Greek lambda symbol (representing liberation), triangles, ribbons, and gender symbols. While there are various flags representing different subdivisions of the gay community, the rainbow flag remains the most commonly recognized one. Created by Gilbert Baker, each color of the rainbow flag represents a specific value within the community: pink for sexuality, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for the sun, green for nature, blue for art, indigo for harmony, and violet for spirit. Over time, the flag has evolved, with the present-day version first presented at the 1979 Pride Parade. Additional flags, such as the Victory over AIDS flag, Leather Pride flag, and Bear Pride flag, also exist.

The lambda symbol, originally adopted by the Gay Activists Alliance of New York in 1970, became a symbol for the gay community. It was chosen to differentiate it from a college symbol and to signify its association with the gay community. In December 1974, the lambda symbol was officially declared the international symbol for gay and lesbian rights by the International Gay Rights Congress in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The triangle symbol holds historical significance within the gay community, particularly as a reminder of the Holocaust. Homosexual individuals were persecuted and identified by pink triangles alongside Jews, regular prisoners, and political prisoners who were labeled with different symbols. The black triangle is a symbol representing lesbian sisterhood.

Various gender symbols exist within the gay community, representing different forms of homosexual or bisexual relationships. While less commonly seen, these symbols are recognizable within the community. Other symbols associated with the gay community and gay pride include the gay-teen suicide awareness ribbon, AIDS awareness ribbon, labrys, and purple rhinoceros.

In the fall of 1995, the Human Rights Campaign adopted a logo consisting of a yellow equal sign on a deep blue square, which has become one of the most recognizable symbols representing the fight for equal rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

A notable change to the traditional LGBT+ flag occurred on June 8, 2017, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Two new stripes, one black and one brown, were added to the flag to specifically highlight people of color within the LGBTQIA community.


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