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Lesbian Symbolism - Never Be Confused Again!

Do you remember your first gay pride? Even if you haven't been to one yet, anyone - who has been - will tell you that pride literally takes your breath away. Rainbow flags are waved furiously and the pride parade shuts down streets as colorful costumes and carnival floats pass by. A huge party takes place at the end of the carnival route with tents and masses of stalls. It's here that you'll find much sought after gay and lesbian merchandise and if you can manage to fight your way to the front of a stall you will find T-shirts, jewelry, sex toys and gifts galore.

Many of the lesbian gifts are rainbow colored to symbolize the gay pride flag, but you will also find loads of other different symbols used to represent lesbianism that you probably know little or nothing about! There seems little point in buying a black triangle pin-badge just because it looks pretty, so we've developed the definitive guide to lesbian symbols. That way you can pick the symbol with which you identify the most, and whenever you next go to pride, or find some great lesbian merchandise online, you'll know exactly what to look for. You'll be able to wear your lesbian symbol with pride!

The Rainbow Flag
Everyone knows about the Rainbow Flag; it's the most recognized symbol of gay pride in the world. You'll even find that some stores use static stickers in their window with the colors of the rainbow flag on it to let you know they are gay friendly. But did you know that it originally had eight stripes on it? Way back in 1978, San Fran artist Rob Gilbert handmade a flag with eight stripes on it for a gay pride march but when it came to manufacturing it, some of the colors couldn't be reproduced. Eventually the gay flag has been whittled down to six colors and each one represents something:
Red - Life
Orange - Healing
Yellow - Sun
Green - Nature
Blue - Art
Violet - Spirit

Freedom Rings
More often than not you will find freedom rings on lesbian bracelets or necklaces. They were inspired by the colors of the gay flag. Each metal ring (there are six in total) represent a color of the flag and can often be a more subtle way of wearing gay pride colors without draping yourself in flags!

Leather Pride Flag
Sometimes you will come across a flag with black and blue stripes and one white stripe across the middle. It also has a red heart in one corner. This is used as a symbol for people who love leather; not only because they love wearing it, but because they are also interested in such things as Sadomasochism and fetishes. It's most commonly found in the gay and lesbian scene and has almost been adopted by us!

The Lambada
The Lambada is the Greek letter L. It stands for one of two things, L for liberation, or it's used in chemistry and physics to denote energy. It first presented itself in gay and lesbian circles when the New York Gay Activists Alliance chose it as a symbol for lesbian and gay rights.

Pink Triangles
In Hitler's Nazi Concentration Camps people were labeled with different colored triangle badges to represent their crime. Homosexuals (yes, homosexuality was considered a crime by Hitler and people were imprisoned for it) were given a pink triangle to wear. This symbol of hatred has now been turned into a symbol of pride for lesbians and gays. Some people will even wear their pink triangle upwards when someone they know died of AIDS. It's really seen as a fight against gay oppression symbol.

Black Triangles
You will often see lesbians wearing black triangle badges or pins. These also stem from Hitler's Nazi Concentration Camps. Women who had been imprisoned for "anti social behavior" including lesbianism, prostitution, and feminism were labeled with black triangles. We've reclaimed it as a symbol of pride for lesbians nowadays.

Lesbian Symbol
You no doubt know of the gender symbols that represent male and female. If not the female symbol can be described as a circle with crossed lines underneath it. To represent same sex couples lesbians have evolved this. Lesbianism is represented by two interlocking female symbols. You will often find masses of lesbians wearing this on necklaces, bracelets and even earrings. It's a subtle way of stating what you are!

Ribbons have gained huge popularity in recent decades and are worn to symbolize hundreds of causes. There are two main ribbons that are associated strongly with lesbians

Red Ribbon - you should know that this is worn for AIDS awareness

Pink Ribbon - This is for breast cancer awareness. This should be a cause close to every lesbian's heart as women who don't bear children have a higher risk of breast cancer than any other.

The Labrys
If you ever see a double-headed axe, just remember that this is known as the Labrys. It is believed that Amazonian tribeswomen were the first people to use such a weapon and as they were known for their innate strength, the Labrys started to be used as a lesbian symbol in the 70's. You're most likely to see lesbians wearing gold or silver necklaces with a Labrys on, or even the occasional bracelet.

As you can see from our quick tour of the main symbols, many of them stand for lesbian and gay pride but they were actually historical symbols used to humiliate us. It's important to understand the origins of lesbian symbols so that you can pick some that you want to wear with pride. There's no point wearing it if you don't really understand what it means!


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