Show Your True Colors: A Guide to Bi Pride Symbols
“Pride Month” is celebrated around the world by people in the LGBT+ community and their allies. If you attend a Pride celebration anywhere, you will be sure to see people dressed in outfits displaying many different LGBT+ pride symbols and color schemes. Even people outside of the LGBT+ community are sure to be familiar with the well-known rainbow pride flag, which is used as a symbol of pride for the LGBT+ community as a whole. While this rainbow flag is meant to symbolize the entire spectrum of LGBT+ identities, there are many other symbols used to celebrate specific identities within the LGBT+ community.
Because bisexual individuals tend to be erased and marginalized even within the LGBT+ community, bi activists have adopted several symbols to celebrate bi pride specifically, and to create bi visibility at LGBT+ Pride events. These symbols usually integrate a specific color scheme of pink, purple, and blue. Here are a few of the most common symbols used to represent bi pride.
The bi pride flag is the most well-known of the bi pride symbols. This flag can be seen flying alongside other pride flags at Pride events, such as the traditional rainbow LGBT+ pride flag, the transgender pride flag, the pansexual pride flag, etc. Most specific identities under the LGBT+ umbrella have their own specific pride flag with their own colors schemes, and bisexuals are no different.
The bi pride flag features three different colored stripes; a wide magenta stripe, a narrow lavender stripe, and a wide blue stripe. This flag was designed by Michael Page in 1998 to give the bisexual community its own symbol comparable to the rainbow flag of the larger LGBT+ community. It was first unveiled at the BiCafe’s first anniversary party on December 5, 1998. The bi pride flag is likely the most well-recognized pride flag other than the rainbow LGBT+ pride flag.
According to the flag’s designer, Michael Page, each colored stripe of the bi pride flag has a specific meaning:
- The wide magenta or pink stripe represents same-gender attraction (gay or lesbian).
- The wide blue stripe represents opposite-gender attraction (straight).
- The narrow lavender or purple stripe is a blend of pink and blue and represents a blend of both same- and opposite-gender attraction (bi).
The most important design element in this flag is the lavender stripe. Michael Page describes the flag’s meaning in deeper terms, stating:
“The key to understanding the symbolism of the Bisexual pride flag is to know that the purple pixels of color blend unnoticeably into both the pink and blue, just as in the ‘real world,’ where bi people blend unnoticeably into both the gay/lesbian and straight communities.”
Though the bi pride flag is the most well-known symbol of bisexuality, the “bi angles” (also sometimes written as “biangles”) symbol has been around even longer and was the first symbol to use the pink, purple, and blue color scheme to represent bisexuality.
The exact origin of the bi angles symbol is unknown, but there are theories suggesting that the colors may represent masculine, feminine, and non-binary attractions. It is also possible that the colors represent the same meanings as in the bi pride flag and represent same-sex attraction, opposite-sex attraction, and a combination of the two. The lavender color where the pink and blue overlap may also be a reference to queerness, as the color lavender has long been associated with the LGBT+ community. According to Michael Page, the colors used in the bi angle’s symbol were the inspiration behind the bi pride flag.
The overlapping pink and blue triangles are likely inspired by the pink triangle symbol sometimes used to represent the LGBT+ community, primarily gay men. The use of the pink triangle as a pride symbol is controversial, however, due to its origin as a concentration camp badge forced upon gay men in World War II.
The bisexual double moon symbol was created in 1998 by Vivian Wagner specifically as an alternative to the bi angles symbol, which incorporates the pink triangle symbol associated with concentration camps. Because many people within the LGBT+ community take issue with using a symbol associated with persecution violence against them, the double moon symbol offers a less controversial alternative. This symbol is most popular with the bisexual community in Germany and surrounding countries, though bi people throughout the world may use it as well.
The double moon symbol consists of two crescent moons, each featuring a gradient from blue to pink, creating a lavender color where the two main colors meet. As with the bi angle symbol and the bi pride flag, the double moon symbol utilizes the colors blue and pink, with a band of purple to represent bi attraction.
A combination of the standard symbols for male and female can also be used to represent the bisexual community. The center symbol typically represents the bi individual, either male or female, with an additional male and female symbol on either side. These gender symbols may be colored in shades of pink, purple, and blue to coincide with the other bi symbols.
These symbols are an important part of celebrating bi and LGBT+ identity. These symbols help LGBT+ people to easily identify others like them at pride events, or in the community at large. By having visible symbols of identity, bi people can show the world that they exist, and let other bi people know that they are not alone. By using common recognizable symbols, the bi community can become stronger and more visible within the overall LGBT+ community.