We’re celebrating Pride’s jubilee this year and remembering 50 years of activism for LGBTQIA+ rights and equality. The movement is ever evolving and we wanted to support this years Pride celebrations by highlighting the different identities that make up the LGBTQIA+ community.
There are currently 15 different flags that represent Pride, and they are all unique, valid and important. To give each identity the visibility it deserves we have 15 unique and interesting stories from people who identify closely with the flags that represent the individual gender and sexuality identities.
Robert – Pride Classical
“Going into the Uber offices in San Francisco and seeing other people like me felt safe. I was among peers and it felt as if I would be accepted. It felt like home.
A lot of people associate Pride with a flag, with being gay or lesbian or trans. As we go forward there are more definitions and it’s fantastic to see that you can be yourself. It’s not just about the rainbow flag.”
Jeanette – Intersex
“I’m intersex and one of the hardest things for me is the pink box/blue box of being male and female and wondering where do I fit? I don’t have to fit into that, I’m the person that I am and I’m proud to be intersex.
Last year was my first time with Pride, I held the banner, and it said “intersex not invisible” and those few words said it all for me.”
Nina – Black Pride
“I wasn’t always open with my sexuality. I am half Jamaican, half Ghanaian, so it’s not the easiest thing to talk about or even to accept.
Black Pride doesn’t just represent black people, it’s for people of colour in general. People should be able to be who they want to be and exist without having to think about it.”
Dan – Genderqueer
“Genderqueer for me means I fit in this grey area… somewhere I’ve been for a long time. I thought I had to be at either point A or point B, that’s why it took me so long to come out and find out who I was.
Genderqueer is the grey area and it’s a great place to be.”
Izzy – Bisexual
“I think it’s important for each individual LGBT identity to feel represented.
Having the bisexual flag gives me that extra bit of visibility and an extra way of presenting myself and my sexuality. It’s something I’m very proud of.”
Stav – Human Rights
“I am a lesbian, a dyke, genderqueer, homosexual woman — out and proud. Pride is a protest. Pride is a riot and this is how it started.
Human rights are the rights of humans to health, education, clean water, to a roof, to medical care. I believe in the flag because it’s a reminder to the ignorant people of what it means to have human rights.”
Billie – Genderfluid
“I think it’s important to educate drivers on the range of flags that exist within the LGBTQIA+ community. It’s really important that they understand the different variations so that when they talk to members of the public that get into their cars every day they can relate to them better and show their understanding. Similarly we try to understand them and their background.
When I identified as a lesbian, I didn’t really feel like I fitted into that category. When I found out about gender fluidity, it was a massive relief for me. I finally found somewhere where I could relate and as I read up more about it, it just made me happier.”
Jo – Pansexual
“Being pansexual means being free to love a person without caring about their gender, sexual identity or how he defines himself or herself or themselves.
To me Pride means being whoever I want to be, wearing whatever I want to wear, and liking whoever I want to like. The flag gives you strength to believe in who you are. If I’d never seen the pansexual flag I would never have realised it was a thing.“
Ray – Transgender
“[When] my best friend’s younger sibling came out as trans and I saw how understanding their family was… I remember thinking, “That’s what I want.” I really, really shoved that down and tried really hard to be a girl.
There’s this amazing quote by Monica Helms, the creator of the trans flag: “The pattern is such that no matter which way you fly it, it’s always correct, which signifies us finding correctness in our lives.””
Yasmin – Asexual
“I identify as asexual and aromantic. If you don’t experience sexual attraction or romantic attraction, society teaches you that there must be something severely lacking in your mind and in your life.
For me, the flag is our unifying symbol. If I ever see that flag flying I know there is someone I can relate to.“
Tiffany – Lesbian
“Pride to me means being yourself, and that you have every right to exist. You’re here, you take up space, you’re valid.
I think that it’s important that different parts of the community have their own flag, it helps people identify with others who are similar to them.
It’s nice to know that you can identify with someone who is lesbian, who has the same experiences, values and beliefs.”
Roger – Aromantic
“I grew up in Mexico and Mexico is a very romantic country. There’s lots of romantic songs and telenovelas and movies. You’re always being told you have to be romantic, your main goal is to bring up a family and have that dreamy life.
I tried very hard, being in romantic relationships and having boyfriends, looking for that life of having dogs and kids and a big house in the countryside. I realised that’s just not what I want and not what I feel. I always felt different but I was always myself.”
Mahatma – Agender
“I grew up in Italy until I was 13-14 and I never felt like I belonged when I was over there. Then, as soon as I moved to London, because it’s such an amalgamation of different cultures and people, I felt more at home.
Defining myself has always been a struggle. When I used to look for fashion, I would never look to male or female clothes, but just at the clothes themselves. I started to realise that was how I felt inside – that I don’t feel either male or female, I feel agender.”
Caolan – Polysexual
“I prefer to use the term “polysexual” as using just the term “gay man” would insinuate that I’m only attracted to other men, which I’m not. It’s a much more inclusive term to include all genders and everyone I’m actually attracted to.
I think if I had been exposed to polysexuality more than a year ago, I probably would have come out as polysexual a lot earlier too. Just knowing what the term meant really helped me understand who I was attracted to and helped me know myself better.”
Dale – Non-Binary
“I think it’s really important to not take something like our gender and sexuality and allow that to identify us as a full being. Ever since I was a child, I neither identified with male or female pronouns. I probably questioned if I was transgender at one point, then had a realisation that I’m very comfortable in my physical self. I don’t want to change physically, but I do identify on the inside, spiritually and mentally, as female.”