GLBTA refers to the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transsexual and transgender, and asexual community.
History of the Gay Pride Flag
The original gay-pride flag was hand-dyed by Gilbert Baker with his boyfriend Jomar Teng. It flew in the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade on June 25, 1978. It has been suggested that Baker was inspired by Judy Garland's singing "Over The Rainbow". Another suggestion for how the rainbow flag originated is that at college campuses during the 1960s, some people demonstrated for world peace by carrying a Flag of the Races (also called the Flag of the Human Race) with five horizontal stripes (from top to bottom they were red, black, brown, yellow, and white). Gilbert Baker is said to have gotten the idea for the rainbow flag from this flag. The flag consisted of eight stripes; Baker assigned specific meaning to each of the colours:
hot pink: sexuality
After the November 27, 1978, assassination of openly gay San Francisco City Supervisor Harvey Milk, demand for the rainbow flag greatly increased. To meet demand, the Paramount Flag Company began selling a version of the flag using stock rainbow fabric consisting of seven stripes of red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, blue, and violet. As Baker ramped up production of his version of the flag, he too dropped the hot pink stripe because of the unavailability of hot-pink fabric. Also, San Francisco-based Paramount Flag Co. began selling a surplus stock of Rainbow Girls flags from its retail store on the southwest corner of Polk and Post, at which Gilbert Baker was an employee.
In 1979 the flag was modified again. When hung vertically from the lamp posts of San Francisco's Market Street, the center stripe was obscured by the post itself. Changing the flag design to one with an even number of stripes was the easiest way to rectify this, so the turquoise stripe was dropped, which resulted in a six stripe version of the flag - red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet.
In 1989, the rainbow flag came to nationwide attention in the United States after John Stout sued his landlords and won when they attempted to prohibit him from displaying the flag from his West Hollywood, California, apartment balcony.
1 Gay Almanac, p. 94
4 Unsung Heroes of the Gay World: Vexillographer Gilbert Baker: The Gay Betsy Ross UK Gay News, 17 April 2008. Accessed 23 September 2009.
5 Russell, Ron. "Removal of 'Gay Pride' Flag Ordered: Tenant Suit Accuses Apartment Owner of Bias." Los Angeles Times (December 8, 1988): Part 9, 6.