Red Rainbows & Green Carnations: What are LGBT Symbols



Through the years the LBGT movement has adopted a variety of symbols to represent and unite our community in the struggle for equality.  But is their meaning always clear?

The Rainbow 

The original eight colors were pink for sexuality, red for light, orange for healing, yellow for the sun, green for natural serenity, turquoise for art, indigo for harmony and violet for spirit.

Green Carnations

Originating in the Victorian era, green carnation lapels were used as a way for gay men to discretely identify one another. Awards like the Green Carnation Prize celebrate gay writers and the history of the symbol. 



Lavender & Pink

“Since 1977, the pink triangle has been adopted by the LGBT community as a symbol of the fight against oppression and the work for acceptance.” Says the Carleton Gender and Sexuality Center.  Later, activists including ACT UP would continue to use the pink triangle and associate it with the chant “SILENCE=DEATH”

The Greek symbol lambda

The Lambda

The greek Lambda has been associated with some of the first prominent LGBT Activist groups since the early 1970’s. According to the International Gay Rights Congress in Edinburgh, Scotland “the lambda signifies unity under oppression” and is still used by the gay rights group Lambda Legal and the Lambda Literary Award


Delve more into the history and communities represented by lgbt symbols:


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