The transgender community has used several flags and emblems over the years. Even within the trans community itself there are sub-communities which have begun to use their own flags. The design seen most often as the Trans Pride flag is this one.
This was designed by Monica Helms, a transsexual
navy veteran. Like a lot of transsexuals Monica felt that, in her own words, “something was different about me”. Growing up in the 1960s there wasn’t anyone or anything to explain this difference, so she accepted life as a boy while secretly praying to be turned into a girl. US
During her time in the
navy Monica began cross-dressing. After leaving the navy she married and fathered 2 sons. It wasn’t until 1987 that she realised she was transsexual and began the transition in 1992. US
In 1999 Monica designed the trans flag. As with other flag designers she didn’t feel the Rainbow Pride flag captured the separate identity of transsexuals and transgenders. The colours are baby blue and baby pink representing the traditional male and female colours. The white stripe represents those who are in the process of transitioning, or those who consider themselves to be of a neutral gender.
Monica’s design became accepted around the world quite quickly. In 2000 it was first seen as a flag at Phoenix Pride in
in June. Like the colours of the Rainbow Pride flag the trans flag colours have been used in badges, logos and other designs by the community. Arizona
There are other trans flags that have emerged over the years and here are a few.
Perhaps the earliest trans flag is this one was created by the Queer Nation Transgender Focus Group on 17th October 1991.
Dawn Holland is responsible for the central design, using traditional gay and gender symbolism.
In 1999, at about the time Monica Helms came up with her design, someone on the internet called “Captain John” created this design.
Again, it uses the traditional baby pink and blue. This time a different trans emblem appears in the corner. I haven’t been able to discover if this design was actually flown.
Another popular though less seen trans flag is this one.
It was designed by Jennifer Pellinen and made its debut on her website on 20th July 2002. Jennifer was apparently unaware of Monica’s design and, like her, wanted to create a separate flag of identity for the trans community. Jennifer’s flag is clearly influenced by the Rainbow Pride flag and represents the various “shades” to transgenderism between the traditional pink and blue gender colours.
Finally, one flag which I personally find distinctive is this one flown in
, during the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance on 20th November (I am not aware of any other cities having their own flags for the Day of Remembrance). Ottawa, Canada
It was designed by Michelle Lindsay sometime before 2009. It incorporates the transgender symbol that is becoming the most popular among several. Although this particular configuration of the male and female gender symbols may have been used before, the present accepted opinion is that it originated with the American Gender Talk radio station sometime before 2002. It was originally the idea of Holly Boswell of
, who passed the design on to Wendy Parker, who in turn passed it on to the founder of Gender Talk, Nancy Nangeroni, for computer generation. North Carolina
Several communities who recognise a separate identity within the trans community have also adopted flags and designs.