You’ll typically see a zillion rainbow Pride flags during June, maybe even some bisexual, transgender, leather or bear flags too. But there’s a bunch of others ones you almost never see. We found the above chart of some lesser known Pride flags in the program for this year’s Creating Change summit on LGBTQ equality and, to be honest, we had no idea what most of the words on the chart meant. So we looked them up and defined them below because sometimes one flag ain’t enough.
Before we jump into them though, you should know that:
1) We don’t consider the rainbow flag the “gay” flag; we consider it as a wholly inclusive LGBTQIA flag (feel free to complain about how the flag erases your community/identity below)
2) About 12 of the flags signify attractions to or identities of non-binary gender. The distinctions get pretty specific, which might explain why you hardly ever see their flags in public — their communities are way niche.
3) Our definitions might not be perfect. We researched them using Wikipedia and other online dictionaries, but language is an imperfect, imprecise thing (as we’ve mentioned). All the same, we’ve tried to be succinct yet clear in giving each its due.
bisexual -attracted to two or more genders or attracted to more than one gender.
gay – homosexual
transgender – having a gender identity or gender expression, that differs from the gender assigned at birth
lipstick lesbian – a lesbian who favors a glamorous, traditionally feminine fashion style.
gynephilia – attraction to women or femininity.
asexual – having no sexual feelings or associations.
autosexual – having a sexual orientation toward oneself; or preferring self-gratification over other forms of sexual activity
bear – being a hairy, heavy-set gay or bisexual man or associating with them
pansexual – open to attraction with anyone regardless of biological sex, gender, gender/sexual identity.
polysexual – attraction to multiple genders
skoliosexual – attraction to gender expressions other than cisgender
straight ally – a heterosexual or cisgender person who supports equal civil rights, gender equality, LGBT social movements, and challenges homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.
androgynous – having a partly male and partly female appearance; of indeterminate sex
genderqueer – not subscribing to conventional gender distinctions but identifying with neither, both, or a combination of male, female or other genders
gender binary – having a gender identity that is either male or female (ie. non-fluid)
gender fluid – having a gender identity that changes over time from male, female, neutrois (neutral), or any other combination of binary and non-binary identities
intersexual – born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male
neutrois – a non-binary gender identity which is considered to be a neutral or null gender.
polyamorous – the practice of, or desire for, intimate relationships (physical or romantic) involving more than two people, with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved.
aromantic – a person who experiences little or no romantic attraction to others
androphilia – attraction to men or masculinity
gender non-binary – “a catch-all category for gender identities that are not exclusively masculine or feminine—identities which are thus outside of the gender binary and cisnormativity”
transexual – strong desire to assume the physical characteristics and gender role of the opposite sex
lithromantic – having romantic attractions towards others but only enjoying romantic relationships in theory. Also known as a akoiromantic or apromantic.
two spirit – a culturally distinct gender that describes Indigenous North Americans who fulfill one of many mixed gender roles found traditionally among many Native Americans and Canadian First Nations indigenous groups. Two spirits are male-bodied or female-bodied persons with a masculine or feminine essence. Two Spirits can cross social gender roles, gender expression, and sexual orientation.
trigender – experiencing exactly three gender identities — typically male, female and/or any non-binary identities — either simultaneously or alternately
leather – practicing any number of BDSM ritual, cultural or sexual practices including puppy play, BDSM (bondage-discipline/domination-submission/sadism-masochism), bootblacking, sir-boy/daddy relationships, rubber or latex play and other practices. The rubber and latex folks have their own flag, by the way
butch lesbian – having romantic and sexual interest in other women while also dressing, acting or speaking in traditionally “masculine” ways