It's Pride Season! Yay for Pride! But, I also thought this was as good as time as any to talk about the identity problem that LGBTQAI+ people have. And that problem is that we don't have any good way to refer to our selves. LGBTQAI+ is kinda clumsy. Worse, it doesn't even include everyone! Where are the aegender and non-binary people for instance? Are they supposed to be under queer? Won't that bother people who identify solely as queer? And what about the flag? Sure it's a rainbow, but it represents gay people. What about straight transgender people? Are they included in that rainbow?
So yeah, there's quite the issue. We want to be inclusive, as inclusive as possible, because we are all in the same fight and facing many of the same issues. So let's tackle this name issue first. Let's dissect LGBTAI+. What do those letters stand for? Who do they include? Here it is broken down:
- L for lesbian
- G for gay
- B for bisexual
- T for transgender
- Q for queer
- A for aesexual
- I for intersex
- + for everyone else we haven't mentioned yet.
To maybe help come up with an alternative, I first started by adding some new letters in. We need really need new letters. So the ones I came up with include:
- E for exploring. Many of us in the pride world spend a while in this exploring phase before figuring out who we really are.
- N for nonbinary because you can't leave out non-binary and they should have been included earlier.
- U for unsure. This is fairly similar to exploring. But I really needed a U to go with that Q. Scrabble players will understand.
Some of the ideas I came up with are Spectra, which is the plural of spectrum. Rainbows are made up of the visible spectrum and so we are all many spectra. Spectra. I like it. It does have the slight issue of being similar to specter which is creepy and spooky. When I try and think up new terms, I do like many a Westerner and look back to Latin and Greek. But I thought it would be more interesting and inclusive to look at some non-Western words. Avana is the Malagasy word for rainbow. I really like Avana. Then I thought let's be really universal and look to the artificial language Esperanto. Senti is the Esperanto word for "to feel." But, I think Avana is my favorite. The Avana community. I'm Avana. Let's go to Avana pride!
Beyond our name, there's also the issue of the flag. There's the familiar rainbow flag of course.
This design takes all the colors from all the flags and puts them all in one symbol. It's on a white background because it's already fairly colorful and also because I didn't want to offend any one group by making someone else's color the "main" color while there's was relegated to the circle. Okay, this is a little plain. I don't love it. So I set about making some modifications to snaz it up a bit.
This is an alternate of the one above, but blurry to help show that all the different colors really can and do overlap. I, for an example, am transgender and gay, so I'm a mix of two flags. There are also intersex people who identify as intersex, transgender, and gay. It can get complicated and so this wheel lets it all get a bit blurry. Because life is blurry. But still it's kind of a simple design. back to the drawing board.
Here's an attempt to add another design element to help fill up all that white. I chose a pink bar because historically pink has been the color associated with the gay rights movement. I also added 1969 in recognition of the Stonewall Riots. But then I realized this is rather an American design. Sure, Stonewall kicked off the American gay rights movement. But what if you're French or Guatemalan or something? Your own country has it's own history. Plus pink has its connotations because the Nazis made gay prisoners wear pink triangles. And do we really want to stick with a color the Nazi's assigned us? But that got me thinking.
Happy Avana Pride everyone!