Intersex people comprise at least 1.7% of the population, and likely much higher, as that stat only takes into account a small number of conditions. While not all intersex people find a home within the LGBTQIA+ community, many do because of their unique perspective on gender and sexuality.
Until recently, LGBTQ+ pride flags haven’t brought as much visibility to intersex identities as they have to other identities.
To remedy this, a new pride flag has recently launched: The Intersex Inclusive Pride Flag.
What Does Intersex Mean?
Intersex is a broad term that includes a variety of conditions wherein a person has physical characteristics (such as reproductive anatomy or chromosomes, for example) that do not align with “male” or “female” traits.
For example, someone born with a vagina may not have a vaginal opening, or someone may be born with parts of both a penis and a vagina. Alternatively, someone may have a chromosomal makeup that varies from how their internal or external genitalia were assigned at birth.
Because there are at least 10 biological markers of human sex (and likely more), the range of combinations they can present with are nearly endless.
These conditions may be apparent at birth or manifest during puberty. Other times, a person may live their entire life without knowing they are intersex.
Everyone’s intersex journey is different. Understandably, every intersex person has a different relationship with their gender and how they relate to the LGBTQIA+ community.
What is the Intersex Inclusive Pride Flag?
Without a doubt, a diverse range of the pride flags that have been designed over the years.
The first pride flag was created by Gilbert Baker in 1977, who created a rainbow flag featuring eight different colors. Shortly, thereafter in 1979, this pride flag evolved into the more common six striped pride flag. This 6-striped flag features red, orange, yellow, green, indigo, and violet stripes.
By 2017, the Philadelphia Pride Flag was launched as part of the “More Color More Pride” Campaign in Philadelphia. It added black and brown stripes to the 6-striped pride flag to better represent and center the experiences of queer communities of color.
Then in 2018, the non-binary American artist and designer, Daniel Quasar, created the Progress Pride Flag. Quasar added a chevron (a “V shaped mark”) to the previous 6-striped pride flag. Within this chevron, Quasar featured black and brown stripes to represent LGBTQIA+ communities of color, as well as white, light blue, and pink stripes to represent transgender individuals.
While each of these pride flag iterations added additional elements, none of of them had yet to incorporate intersex symbology.
Thus far, intersex individuals had been under-represented within these pride flag iterations. It was this reality that inspired the intersex columnist Valentino Vecchietti to create the Intersex Inclusive Pride Flag in 2021.
Vecchietti built this new pride flag as an extension of Daniel Quasar’s pre-existing Progress Pride Flag.
Vecchietti took Quasar’s design a step further by adding the intersex symbol inside the chevron Quasar had created. The intersex symbol is a yellow background with a purple circle featured inside it.
Why are yellow and purple used to represent the intersex community, you might wonder? The answer is that yellow and purple contrast the colors typically associated with men and women—that is, blue and pink, respectively.
The circle represents the concept of intersex people being whole and allowing intersex individuals to make decisions about their own bodies, from the time of birth through end of life.
Why Does this Pride Flag Exist?
As described above, queer pride flags have a history of updates that are meant to bring awareness to every community under the LGBTIA+ umbrella.
The Intersex Pride Flag exists to represent intersex people as part of the LGBTIA+ community. It is important to highlight intersex experiences, because neither sex, nor gender, are binary.
As we recognize that, we can create more inclusive spaces for everyone.
The intersex flag also brings awareness to intersex issues. For example, intersex children are often victim of non-consensual surgeries on their genitals. Intersex people should be able to choose if they want these surgeries when they are old enough to consent.
As more and more people become aware of the intersex identities, we can better advocate for intersex people and their causes.
The Intersex Inclusive Pride Flag
The Intersex Inclusive Pride Flag is an exciting addition to the storied history of pride flags. With this new design, LGBTQIA+ communities can better elevate and celebrate the experiences of intersex individuals.
Have you seen this pride flag around your community? Let us know is comments below.