Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Save to My Library
Look up keyword
Like this
0Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Untitled

Untitled

Ratings: (0)|Views: 22 |Likes:
Published by api-85014987

More info:

Published by: api-85014987 on Jun 28, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as DOCX, PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

09/28/2013

pdf

text

original

 
Jordan MeehanMs
.
Jablonski November 22, 2010UW 20
The Gay Identity
How the LGBT Community Finds Its Identity Through Collective Memoryand Symbology of the LGBT Rights Movement and Shared Experience
 
There are some that argue that symbols and symbolic, significant events of the past do not play a key role in creating identity for a community of people, such as theLGBT community
.
They argue that identity forms and changes as time moves forwardand thus is constantly changing
.
I argue that, despite the incredible range of diversityfound in the LGBT community, its members do in fact share a collective identity whichhas been shaped through both shared experience and as seen in the symbology that hasarisen through these experiences
.
Symbols of the LGBT movement, such as the lambda,the rainbow flag, and the pink triangle among others carry a rich history and deepmeaning and that meaning has helped create a collective identity within the communitythat can still be seen today
.
Certain events, such as the Holocaust and the Stonewall Riotsof 1969, have also significantly impacted the LGBT community and the ramifications of these events have also helped to carve a strong communal identity
.
 One of the most popular and most recognized symbols of the LGBT movement isthe lambda symbol
.
The Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) in New York chose this symbolin 1970, a year after they had broken off from the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) and a year after the famous Stonewall Riots
.
The GLF wanted to branch out and form coalitionswith women¶s and African-American groups, while the GAA wished to focus solely on
 
LGBT issues and thus split off from the main group
.
(Riffenburg) The lambda symbolinstantly became a way for LGBT people to identify each other, becoming a tangible andmaterial form of identity
.
The reasoning behind this symbol was that it was also used byother groups and could be easily mistaken for something such as a college fraternity letter and thus ignored by much of the population
.
An arsonist eventually burned down theGAA headquarters and the organization never recovered, so if there were any other reasons for the lambda symbol, they are lost, but there are several rumors
.
(Riffenburg)Among these rumors are that the letter ³L´ in Greek stands for ³liberation´ and thusapplied to the movement, that the Greek Spartans believed the lambda symbolized unityand that since the lambda is also used in physics to denote energy, it represents thecharged energy of the LGBT movement towards equal rights when activists workedtogether (Glacuho
.
org)
.
At the time of its inception, the lambda symbol was seen as arather militant symbol due to its ties with the fairly radical GAA but as time has progressed, the lambda has begun to simply represent the shared concerns of gays andlesbians (Glacuho
.
org)
.
 Perhaps the most popular symbol in the LGBT community and most recognized by both those in the LGBT community and those outside it is the rainbow pride flag
.
The pride flag was created by Gilbert Baker, a San Francisco artist, in 1978
.
While this was anew symbol for the LGBT community, the concept of a rainbow is not new
.
Rainbowshave been used since ancient times by cultures such as the Greeks, Africans, NativeAmericans and Celtic tribes
.
In creating the rainbow pride flag, Baker took inspirationfrom a number of other communities and movements, such as the hippie movement andthe black civil rights movement
.
What many people do not know though, is that each
 
color of the pride flag has it¶s own meaning: Hot pink for sexuality, red for life, orangefor healing, yellow for the sun, green for nature, blue for art, indigo for harmony, andviolet for spirit
.
However, when the flag was mass-produced, hot pink had to be removed,as it was not an available color (Riffenburg)
.
There have been several variations of thisflag, the most popular being the Victory Over AIDS flag
.
On this flag, a black stripe isadded under the purple stripe on the bottom
.
This variation came about from a SanFrancisco activist group in an effort to raise AIDS awareness in the LGBT community, asthe LGBT community has been one of the hardest hit communities by the AIDS virus
.
 Sgt
.
Leonard Matlovitch, a Vietnam veteran who is dying of AIDS, has proposed thatonce a cure is found for AIDS that all of the black stripes be removed from the AIDSawareness flags and ceremonially burned in Washington, DC (Riffenburg)
.
 One of the lesser-known and more obscure symbols in the LGBT movement is the purple rhinoceros
.
Boston activists Daniel Thaxton and Bernie Toale created the purplerhino in 1974, which first started appearing on posters in Boston subways
.
The rhinocerosis characterized as having a very peaceful demeanor but can become extremelyaggressive and violent if threatened, so the image of a rhino seemed very appropriatesymbol for the LGBT movement since the Stonewall Riots had occurred only a few years prior (Glacuho
.
org)
.
The color purple is often used to symbolize homosexuality but it isunclear whether the rhino is purple for this reason or if the purple coloring is used toshow the combination of male and female influences
.
The rhino also bears a heart on it,which is understood to reflect ³the common humanity of all people´ (Glacuho
.
org)
.
 Ultimately the purple rhino campaign became too expensive for Thaxton and Toale to

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->