On this year's Pride merch, you'll see a lot of colorful climbing shoes. Many folks will recognize the rainbow ones right off, but some of the others might just seem like colorful options.
Well, what if we told you each one of those little shoes was chosen to represent a different pride flag? That's right, the shoes mean things!
This year, we wanted to celebrate the many identities within the LGBTQIA+ community with our design. All of these individual flags rejoin the six-color rainbow flag of yore, reflecting the integrity and necessity of each in the broader movement while simultaneously celebrating the uniqueness of each identity.
Wow, that got art school! Let's talk about a few of the flags on the tank that also show up in our mini sticker collection!
Asexual Pride Flag
Hey, it's the A from the acronym!
Often colloquially referred as the "Ace" community, Asexual people are often subject to a lot of misunderstanding from non-Ace people. The identity is wide, and being Ace doesn't imply a lack of love or romance in life.
Bisexual Pride Flag
Here's the B!
Bisexual folks might fall for men or women, regardless of their own gender. Many may also identify as Pansexual (also on the tank!), a distinct but related identity describing people who fall for others without regard to binary gender.
Lesbian Pride Flag
We know you didn't see it coming but. . . It's the L!
Lesbians are women who love other women. As a community, they often struggle against a particular mix of anti-gay discrimination and patriarchal norms in society. Lesbian leaders have been at the forefront of the LGBTQIA+ struggle, and modern scholars have begun showing their rich contributions to history in all domains.
Non-binary Pride Flag
No alphabet this time! If you've ever heard the word "enby" and wondered what that is, it's Non-binary! Non-binary folks' gender doesn't typically conform to "man" or "woman," and how this is expressed is extremely diverse. Non-binary people may use gender-neutral pronouns, and may seek forms of "androgyny," but may also do neither.
Trans Pride Flag
This may sound familiar, but Transgender is a wide term. It can include non-binary people, people whose identity transitions across the "binary" of men and women, or folks who identify as a third gender. Trans folks have been at the vanguard of the LGBTQIA+ rights struggle since its inception, taking great risks to tend to and fight for their communities in the face of rampant prejudice.
All the Rest!
Panromantic or Pansexual? You might notice your flags on the tank too! There's a lot more we haven't even discussed. But even this tank couldn't hold every flag from the LGBTQIA+ community.
Those outside the community might wonder: why so many flags? Well, there are many flags because there are many ways that orientation, gender, and relationships overlap. Even while facing discrimination, the LGBTQIA+ community has developed a rich language for discussing these experiences. If you're just starting out on learning what a lot of this even means, well congrats! You're learning! Be open minded, kind, and willing to learn and you'll find many people happy to share about themselves.
Pride is a time of celebration, and also a time to reflect on how we as a community can support each other. We want to celebrate each and every identity, whether its on the tank or not, and to hear the needs of that community. While some aspects of society have become better for LGBTQIA+ people, many struggles remain.
As we're celebrating this year, let's all remember also to care for each other and build community. Take some time to learn about LGBTQIA+ history and voices at the LA Library, or attend a pride march in celebration or solidarity. Learn from your fellow LGBTQIA+ community members how you can support their struggles.
Take some time for joy too, and hey. . . maybe even check out the many Pride events at Sender One!