United colours of pride: De­cod­ing the LGBT flag

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Lifestyle - Etti Bali PHO­TOS: MANOJ VERMA/HT etti. bali@ hin­dus­tan­times. com

June was LGBT pride month, and as it draws to a close, we speak to some mem­bers and ac­tivists from the com­mu­nity to un­der­stand what the flag rep­re­sents, and try to de­code it. The orig­i­nal flag had eight stripes. But in its cur­rent form, it has six, namely red (life), or­ange (heal­ing), yel­low (sun­light), green (na­ture), blue (har­mony) and vi­o­let (spirit). The de­sign of the flag is cred­ited to Gil­bert Baker, who de­signed it in 1977. The flag was first used in 1978 at the San Francisco Gay and the Les­bian Free­dom Day Pa­rade.

Ashok Row Kavi, founder of the Hum­sa­far Trust, says, “Dur­ing the Stonewall Ri­ots in New York, the ac­tivists de­cided to choose the colours of the rain­bow as they could mean to rep­re­sent all sex­u­al­i­ties.” Rafiul Alom Rah­man, founder of DU Queer Col­lec­tive, says, “The flag rep­re­sents di­ver­sity and cel­e­brates the dif­fer­ences we all come with. There was no sin­gle defin­ing mo­ment when the flag be­came the sym­bol for rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the LGBT com­mu­nity; it was a jour­ney.” For ac­tivist Sonal Giani, the flag is a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of feel­ings. She says, “The LGBT pride flag sym­bol­ises hope and a feel­ing of co­ex­is­tence. It makes peo­ple like me feel like part of a larger com­mu­nity.”

Ac­tivist Laxmi Narayan Tri­pathi, has a mes­sage for the so­ci­ety. “I want peo­ple to ac­cept us the way we are. And that is what our flag stands for,” she says. ■

The flag rep­re­sents di­ver­sity and cel­e­brates the dif­fer­ences we all come with RAFIUL ALOM RAH­MAN, LGBT AC­TIVIST

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