LGBTQ Meaning: What The Different Flags Represent

June marks Pride Month, where millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transexual and queer people will gather at parties and parades to celebrate LGBTQ rights and the transformational impact these communities have made.

From London to New York, the celebrations are held the world over.

The main symbol of Pride is a rainbow flag, with the vibrant colors reflecting the movement's diversity and denoting the sheer spectrum of gender and sexuality.

Read on to learn more about the month-long celebration, and the different aspects of the LGBTQ+ community.

Picture of a young woman waving lgbti
Picture of a young woman waving LGBTQ flag under the sky. When you think about symbols of the LGBTQ community, the rainbow-colored pride flag probably comes to mind right away Cristina Moliner/Getty Images

What Does LGBTQ Stand For?

Acronym LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender, while increasingly, a Q is included for Queer and/or Questioning.

An "A" for Asexual, an "I" for Intersex and/or a "2" for Two-Spirit is also sometimes included in the acronym.

A lesbian is defined as a woman who is mainly romantically, emotionally and physically attracted to other women.

A gay person is usually denoted as a man who is exclusively attracted to other men, although this term is occasionally used to refer to lesbians.

Bisexuality refers to a person who is drawn to members of both people born male and female.

Transgender broadly denotes anyone who does not identify with his or her assigned gender, and as an identity, the term refers those who transgress either the traditional sex and gender characteristics or expectations.

LGBTQ + Flag for the rights of
LGBTQ + Flag for the rights of pride and sexuality ORGE CORCUERA/Getty Images

The LGBTQ Flags and What They Represent

Dr. Trevor A. Hart, of the HIV Prevention Lab and Professor and Director at Toronto Metropolitan University's of Psychology Department of Psychology, believes the famous flags play an important role.

He told Newsweek: "There are flags that represent a variety of different communities, such as trans communities and bisexual people.

"The rainbow flag has multiple colors to represent diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.

"There are multiple versions of the rainbow flag, including a 2018 version by Daniel Quasar that includes a chevron with black, brown, light blue, pink, and white stripes to include Black, brown, trans people, people living with HIV, and those who have died.

"Pride is often in June to commemorate the Stonewall riots, when LGBT2 people rioted after the police raided a bar called the Stonewall Inn in New York City.

"Pride Month in many cities includes a pride parade to celebrate LGBTQ2IA+ people, as well as educational, social, and activist events to promote social justice and equality for people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities."

LGBTQ, LGBTQ Meaning, LGBTQ Flags,  LGBTQ Flags
LGBTQ flags tell the story of the individuals they represent gorodenkoff/Getty Images


The University Of Colorado's Gender and Sexuality Resource Center has compiled an exhaustive list of each pride flag.

Agender Pride Flag

People who identify as having no gender or as gender neutral, with the state stating: "Agender folks may have any type of expression and use any set of pronouns or no pronouns."

Ally Pride Flag

This flag is flown by people who aren't a part of the LGBTQA+ community, but do support them.

Aromantic Pride Flag

An aromantic is someone who "does not experience romantic attraction, or does so in a significantly different way than is traditionally thought of."

Demiromantic Pride Flag

Being demiromantic means feeling romantically attracted to someone only after forming an emotional bond with them.

Demisexual Pride Flag

This refers to feeling sexual attraction to someone only after forming a deep emotional bond with them.

Genderfluid Pride Flag

Genderfluid people are those who have a gender expressions or identities inconstant or fixed with societal norms.

Genderqueer Pride Flag

People who wave these flags have a gender identity that does not fit within the male/female binary.

Intersex Pride Flag

Someone who identifies as intersex is considered to be a person born with physical sex characteristics failing to fit the traditional definitions for male or female bodies.

Labrys Lesbian Pride Flag

The double-headed battle axe is frequently associated with the Minoan ancient civilization, the Amazons, and the Greek goddess Demeter.

Girl in denim t-shirt with rainbow symbol
Girl in denim t-shirt with rainbow symbol. Pride Month is in June IURII KRASILNIKOV/Getty Images

Lesbian Pride Flag

Lesbians are the female-identified people attracted to other female-identified people.

Philadelphia Pride Flag

This flag is flown by those identifying as LGBTQA+, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Asexual, and all other identities falling into this community across the gender, sexuality and romantic spectrums.

Polyamorous Pride Flag

Polyamory is defined as the ability to love multiple people and also be involved in multiple relationships within the context of mutual consent.

Polysexual Pride Flag

Someone who is sexually attracted to multiple, but not all, genders.

Progress Pride Flag

LGBTQIA+: identities that fall into the LGBTQA+ community across the gender, sexuality, and romantic spectrums are associated with this flag.

Rainbow Pride Flag

This is the quintessentially colorful banner flown with pride by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning/Queer and Asexual community and all other identities falling into the LGBTQA+ community.

Transgender Pride Flag

This pale pink and powder blue flag is used by transgender people, whose gender identity does not correspond with the sex they were assigned at birth.

Two-Spirit Pride Flag

This is an umbrella term to identify queer Native American individuals with traditional and cultural understandings of gender roles and identity.

Supporting hands make heart sign and wave
Supporting hands make heart sign and wave in front of a rainbow flag flying on the sidelines of a summer gay pride parade Cunaplus_M.Faba/Getty Images