WHAT THE RAINBOW FLAG SIGNIFIES
A symbol of pride
The rainbow flag, symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered pride. Pride at having not only survived, but thrived in a world which has often been a hostile place. It is pride in being who we are, it is pride in becoming a full and equal citizen, it is pride in standing up for what we believe in.
A symbol of hope
In addition to being the symbol of pride, the rainbow is a symbol of hope. Tremendous progress has been made in the fight for equal rights. Step by step, lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered people are obtaining recognition as equal members of society. Our anti-gay opponents are becoming frustrated because their hate cannot defeat our love. Things are not perfect, but the progress we are making is extraordinary… and the rainbow affirms our hopes for an even better future.
A symbol of diversity
Finally, the rainbow is a symbol of diversity. Although myths and stereotypes portray all gays and lesbians as having a single, monolithic “agenda”, the reality is that ours is an extraordinarily diverse community. Across all races and cultural backgrounds, across all languages, with or without disabilities, across all religions, our communities continue to flourish.
Sometimes, our own communities are divided between gay and lesbian, between “gay” and “queer”, between those in big cities and those in the suburbs and small towns, between “assimilationists” and those who want to live apart from the mainstream. While diversity poses its challenges, it is also enriching. There are as many opinions as there are people. There is no lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered “lifestyle”, there are only lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people. Millions of us, each one unique. This is our strength.
So, why should we bother?
• Because the government will not allow us to marry the person of our choice;
• Because people are still denied jobs, promotions or denied accommodation because of their sexual orientation;
• Because gay teenagers are disproportionately at risk of suicide;
• Because people are still beaten or murdered for being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered;
• Because we are still made to feel uncomfortable when holding the hand of a partner while walking down the street;
• Because our materials are still censored by the government and banned from schools;
• Because our relationships remain unrecognized in laws.
BY CELEBRATING OUR PRIDE TOGETHER, WE REMEMBER OUR PAST, AFFIRM OUR FUTURE AND PROVIDE IMPORTANT VISIBILITY WHICH ADVANCES OUR STRUGGLE FOR EQUALITY
(Slightly adapted from) Source: HALO Newsletter, author unknown