Do you know what the gay flag looks like?

My BF is a bartender at a gay bar (he’s bi, so he finds all the attention flattering rather than oogy). The bar itself is actually 2 bars, a gay bar in front and a straight bar in the back. Now, it used to be reversed, and the straight bar was up front, and was also a package liquor store.

I was hanging out there one day (all his regulars think I’m his lesbian roommate, he gets better tips if they think he’s single and totally gay. Worst part- they all guessed the “lesbian” part without him telling them. Does wonders for my self-esteem :rolleyes: :stuck_out_tongue: ) when 2 guys walked in, looked around confused, and asked the BF where the liquor store was. He replied “Next door in the straight bar.” All of the regulars in both bars know that there’s the gay bar and the straight bar, so referring to the other bar as the straight bar is normal. The two guys start to walk next door, snickering “I guess this must be the snort gay bar.”

He told me of another guy, a jerkish redneck type who started to sense the gaiety and get uncomfortable and assholish. BF banished him to the straight bar by telling him they served Pabst Blue Ribbon next door, and maybe he’d be more comfortable there.

Now, there’s only one entrance to the gay bar (from the outside- there’s a door connecting the two bars). As soon as you walk in the bar, there’s a column about 2 feet in front of you that you must dodge. It’s got a large (probably 3 feet long) rainbow flag on it right at eye level. There’s also another flag on the door to the straight bar. It’s hard to miss. Not to mention the artistic black and white male nudes in various locations.

I told these stories to a friend, who replied that rainbow = gay isn’t universally known among the straight population. I find this hard to believe, unless you live in a total backwater town in the Bible belt.

So, do you know that rainbow means gay? Is it common knowledge among your friends and family, or only among those with connections to the gay community? I’m pretty sure I knew about it sometime in middle school. Hell, even the septagenarian at my old work knew it.

I’ll admit, my perception may be off. I have gay friends, I live in a gay-owned (and populated) apartment building, and now my BF works at a gay bar. But I still thought it was pretty common knowledge.

Well, sure, but I lived in the Bay Area for a long time. I don’t think I knew about it before college (in 1992), but then I come from a town where no one came out until safely out of high school. (I’m sure it’s different now, but that was in the 80’s.)

I thought the rainbow flag was for Gay, Bi and Trans-gender. But I’m so far out of the loop these days I’ve had to hand in my faghag badge and settle for ‘friendly’.

Next month I’m off to a party in small town rural New Zealand, where the gay community is thriving. I don’t know if they could identify the flag, but the straight locals certainly accept the people.

Hey, thanks.

I knew that the rainbow was for gay pride (like the rainbow parade), but I didn’t know there was a flag.

If I just saw a rainbow flag I’d be thinking hippy before I thought gay. (The black and white male nudes would get the idea over though.)

Well, I certainly didn’t mean to exclude bi and transgender. I’m fairly certain that the rainbow encompasses GLBT, but regardless of the specifics, I just figured everyone knew that rainbow = not straight.

Shoshana, didn’t mean to be offensive. Self-esteem wasn’t quite the right word, sense of femininity would be better. It’s just that I’ve made a conscious effort in recent years to be more feminine, but it would appear that I’m failing miserably. All my neighbors thought I was gay, too. Well, duh, it’s a gay owned and operated building, everyone else is gay, logical conclusion. I just thought the gaydar would have registered “straight.” Either way, it makes me wonder if that’s why I have so many problems getting dates, everyone thinks I’m gay.

Probably would help if you were single as well. :wink:

Well, had, past tense. You know what I mean. :wink:

What does the faghag badge look like?

I know the rainbow is the symbol for gay pride. I’ve never actually seen a gay flag, but seeing the rainbow, I’d have assumed that’s what it was.

Yes and no. It encompasses all three but there are flags for transgender and bisexuality pride, as well.

Yup, but I live in DC. It is also the Incan flag and when I was with some friends in Peru, they thought it was odd that there were so many openly gay bars in town (almost all of them, a friend remarked).

I figured as much, but didn’t know for sure. The bi pride flag is really pretty, though. I also like the reasoning behind the transgender pride flag, with the white stripe representing transitioning.

Consider my ignorance fought.

Of course we know what it means, it’s meant that for, what 15 years now? It’s hard not to connect the dots more than a decade on.

Not terribly long ago my ultra-conservative mother said “You know, once upon a time rainbows were on cute kids’ things. Now you only see rainbow stickers on stuff belonging to gay people.” See? Even mid-aged members of the vast right wing conspiracy are hip to it.

I didn’t, however, know until a recent thread that bear symbols have something to do with the gay community too. Though not exclusively. Unless there are a lot more gay men in Kittery who shop at the trading post than we’d imagine.

I knew.
I’ve never felt less female for being taken for a lesbian or from attracting admiration from a lesbian. My femininity isn’t in question, I don’t feel, if someone thinks me a lesbian.

I for one had no idea there is a gay flag. Or a straight one. Or a black or white one for that matter. Well, maybe one would consider a swastika to be a white flag…

I always assumed the rainbow concept in political art referred to a general endorsement of diversity – sometimes specifically racial, as in “we are all colors of the rainbow”.

I grew up in small town Eastern Washington. I went to school at Gonzaga, a Jesuit college. I’ve known only one openly gay person my whole life. Even I’ve known since the early ‘90s what the rainbow flag means. It’s become so familiar that the U of Hawaii considered changing the sports teams’ names from Rainbows because of the connotations.
One flag I’ve seen is a flag with various shades of brown and a black paw on it. Since it was in a gay bar, I assumed it was for “bears”. Anyone seen this?

This? There’s apparently a Leather Pride Flag, too.

People sure love their symbols.

Even now, to many people, rainbow flag /= gay. My mom, god bless her, has rainbow stickers all over her car. She is still married to my dad, and is not at all aware of the gay connotation. She lives in NJ, FWIW.

Honestly, until I moved to San Fran, I didn’t know.