Visual Analysis Essay
The LGBTQ flag or the gar pride flag is a unifying symbol for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people all over the world. The flag was created by Gilbert Baker in 1978 but has undergone several modifications since then. The flag is used mainly used during gar marches and other LGBTQ events. The flag has significant meaning for all people in the world as it is meant to show the LGBTQ people are proud of who they are and that they demand equal rights. LGBTQs have faced social, political and economic discrimination all over the world and many are afraid to come out and live their truth. The rainbow flag is a sign of their unity, diversity and pride in who they are.
The rainbow flag is made up of different colours of the rainbow arranged horizontally. Some of the colours have been changed depending on the availability of the fabric. The original flag was made up of eight shades. The topmost stripe is hot pink which represents sex. Next is the red colour, a symbol of life, the colour of blood. The colour orange shows healing and after it is yellow, the colour of sunlight. Naturally green is the colour of nature followed by turquoise signifies magic and art. Indigo is the colour of peace and serenity, and finally, the colour violet is the bottom stripe indicating spirit (Lange). Many variations today do not include hot pink due to its unavailability and violet, and turquoise and indigo were merged to blue.
The reason as to why the flag has all colours of the rainbow is to show the diversity that exists in the LGBTQ community. Everyone is accepted, regardless of their colour, race, or origin. Looking at the flag can invoke many feelings in the audience. First, it is a sign of diversity and inclusivity of all people. The colours also have different meanings in all areas of life. For the LGBTQ community, the flag invokes emotions of pride and acceptance of who they are. It is a representation of their beliefs and what they would like the world to see, that everyone is equal.
The flag has an important social significance. For many years, the LGBTQ people have faced discrimination of unbelievable proportions right from their homes and families, to their schools and their places of work (Meyer). Only recently has there been increased awareness on the rights of LGBTQ people as any other people. Many states in the United States and other countries have legalized same-sex marriages. This is not to say that the fight for equality has been won. Instead, it is just beginning. Politicians vying for office have made their stance on LGBTQ rights clear with many standing for the equality of all human beings and others taking a different position.
Just recently in the United States, there has been a raging debate on whether transgender people should serve in the military (Mendez). The discussion is not about whether they are physically capable of serving their country; the issue is with their sexual orientation. All over the world, LGBTQs have faced violence and a threat to their lives. In Paris, France, a transgender woman was attacked by several men on the street for no reason at all (Meheut). Homophobia is still rampant, and this needs to be addressed. In some countries, same-sex relationships are punishable by imprisonment and even death. The authors of these actions base their argument on religion and ethics that relationships should be between a man and a woman.
The fight for the rights of LGBTQ people has been won on several fronts. The legalization of same-sex marriages in many states all over the world is one of these wins. Discriminatory practices against LGBTQs at work and school have been banned, and this has enabled many people to come out of the closet and live their lives openly (Meyer). This is not to say that there have been no setbacks. Many people still face rejection by those that they love because they cannot accept the person’s sexual orientation. People still face violent attacks even in public because of them being LGBTQs.
The leading cause of hostility against LGBTQs is because people believe that their choices are wrong and encourage other people, especially young people, to take the same path as them. So their hostility is also informed by fear and baseless beliefs. To solve this matter, there needs to be public awareness on the fact that LGBTQs are people just like everyone else and they deserve to be treated with respect and love like any other human (Meyer). They are who they are, and their choice of partners and sexual orientation does not hurt anyone else. The gay flag is a symbol of diversity, and the world should embrace this diversity.
In conclusion, anyone who looks at this flag should remember that it is a sign of pride for the LGBTQ community and how hard they have fought to be recognized as people who have rights and equalities. Every person all over the world is affected by this issue because they have witnessed or heard about acts of discrimination and violence against the LGBTQ community. It is a reminder that they should treat everyone fairly and equally, with love and respect. They are not trying to force their beliefs upon anyone; they are trying to live their lives freely without fear and prejudice. The audience should take it upon themselves to become more informed on LGBTQ issues and make everyone else aware.
Lange, Abby. “Comrades Under the Rainbow Flag: Public Expression, Regulation, and Questions Surrounding the LGBTQ Community in Contemporary Taiwan.” (2015).
Meheut, Constant. Video of Assault on Transgender Woman in Paris Spurs Outrage, and a Shift. The New York Times. 4 April 2019. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/04/world/europe/transgender-woman-attacked-paris.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FHomosexuality&action=click&contentCollection=timestopics®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=4&pgtype=collectionMendez, Endia T. Transgenders in the US military: policies, problems, and prospects. NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA, 2014.
Meyer, Doug. Violence against queer people: Race, class, gender, and the persistence of anti-LLGBT discrimination. Rutgers University Press, 2015.