Gay community

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The gay community, or LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community, is a loosely defined grouping of LGBT and LGBT-supportive people, organizations and subcultures, united by a common culture and civil rights movements. These communities generally celebrate pride, diversity, individuality, and sexuality. LGBT activists and sociologists see LGBT community-building as an antidote to heterosexism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, sex-negativity, and conformist pressures thought to exist in the larger society. The term gay pride is used to express the LGBT community's identity and collective strength. The LGBT community is diverse in political affiliation. Not all LGBT individuals consider themselves part of an LGBT community.

Groups that may be considered part of the LGBT community include gay villages, LGBT rights organizations, LGBT employee groups at companies, LGBT student groups in schools and universities, and LGBT-affirming religious groups.

Within the LGBT community there exist identifiable sub-communities, such as the leather community, the bear community, the chubby community, the lesbian community, the bisexual community, the transgender community, the drag community, and the rave community.

Contents

Symbols

The gay community is frequently associated with certain symbols; especially the rainbow or rainbow flags. The Greek lambda symbol ("L" for liberation), triangles, ribbons, and gender symbols are also used as "gay acceptance" symbol. There a many types of flags to represent subdivisions in the gay community but the most commonly recognized one is the rainbow flag. According to Gilbert Baker, creator of the commonly known rainbow flag, each color represents a value in the community: hot pink=sexuality, red=life, orange=healing, yellow=the sun, green=nature, blue=art, indigo=harmony, violet=spirit. Later, pink and indigo were removed from the flag to lead to the present day flag which was first presented at the 1979 Pride Parade. Other flags include the Victory over AIDS flag, Leather Pride flag, and Bear Pride flag.[1] The lambda symbol was originally adopted by Gay Activists Alliance of New York in 1970 after they broke away from the larger Gay Liberation Front. Lambda was chosen because people might confuse it for a college symbol and not recognize it as a gay community symbol unless one was actually involved in the community. "Back in December of 1974, the lambda was officially declared the international symbol for gay and lesbian rights by the International Gay Rights Congress in Edinburgh, Scotland." [1] The triangle became a symbol for the gay community after the Holocaust. Not only did it represent Jews, but homosexuals who were killed because of German law. During the Holocaust, homosexuals were labeled with pink triangles to distinguish between them, Jews, regular prisoners, and political prisoners. The black triangle is similarly a symbol for females only to represent lesbian sisterhood. Gender symbols have a much longer list of variations of homosexual/bisexual relationships which are clearly recognizable but may not be as popularly seen as the other symbols. Other symbols that relate to the gay community and/or gay pride include the gay-teen suicide awareness ribbon, AIDS awareness ribbon, labrys, and purple rhinoceros.

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