Thursday - June 20th, 2024

What can we help you find?

Open Menu

From Boulder to the World: LGBTQ+ Populations and the Evolution of the Rainbow Flag

blue orange and green textile

How many of us in the United States are likely counted in the group of “LGBTQ+” ? Is this a rare thing and a small group? NO! It is our friends, neighbors, relatives and more. And with the ongoing acceptance of personal discovery, the number identifying as LGBTQ+ is increasing.

Recent data from multiple sources indicates that approximately 7.6 percent of US adults identify as LGBTQ+ as of 2023, according to Gallup. This figure has more than doubled since 2012 when it was first measured at 3.5 percent. Another estimate by the Williams Institute suggests that around 5.5 percent of the population, which translates to nearly 14 million adults, identify as LGBTQ+​​. For comparison, the population of New York City is 8.8 million, and the population of the State of Pennsylvania is about 13 million.  Here’s what that looks like!

Purple: Illinois   RedPennsylvania   Green: New York City   Blue: LGBTQ+

Population Comparison Showing MORE USA LGBTQ+ People Than NYC, Pennsylvania and Illinois!

The increase in these numbers is particularly notable among younger generations. For instance, a significant portion of adults aged 18-24 identify as LGBTQ+, which reflects broader social acceptance and visibility over time. This demographic shift has also been influenced by cultural changes and increased advocacy for LGBTQ+ rights, making it easier for people to openly identify with the community.

The gay pride flag, also known as the rainbow flag, has a rich history rooted in the LGBTQ+ movement.

fingerprint, gay, flag

1. Creation and Design
The flag was created by artist-designer and activist Gilbert Baker in 1978. Baker was commissioned by Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay elected officials in the United States, to create a symbol of pride for the gay community. The original flag had eight colors, each representing a different aspect of the LGBTQ+ community: hot pink for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, turquoise for magic/art, indigo for serenity, and violet for spirit.

multi colored striped umbrella on wall

2. Evolution
Due to difficulties in sourcing hot pink fabric, the flag was later modified to seven colors, dropping hot pink. In 1979, the flag was further simplified to six colors, removing turquoise and replacing indigo with royal blue. The new six-color flag became the standard: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet.

3. Symbolism and Adoption
The flag quickly gained popularity as a symbol of gay pride and was prominently displayed at LGBTQ+ events and parades. Each color of the flag symbolizes a different aspect of life and community: red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, blue for harmony, and violet for spirit.

4. Global Recognition
Over time, the rainbow flag became a globally recognized symbol of the LGBTQ+ rights movement. It has been used in various contexts to show solidarity and support for LGBTQ+ rights, from pride parades to legal protests.

ai generated, pride, rainbow

5. Variations
Several variations of the flag have been created to represent different subgroups within the LGBTQ+ community, such as the transgender pride flag, the bisexual pride flag, and the progress pride flag, which includes black and brown stripes to represent marginalized LGBTQ+ communities of color, and the colors of the transgender pride flag.

6. Legacy
The rainbow flag continues to be a powerful emblem of diversity, acceptance, and pride within the LGBTQ+ community. It is used worldwide to celebrate LGBTQ+ culture and advocate for equal rights and social justice.

The gay pride flag’s history reflects the evolution and growing visibility of the LGBTQ+ community, serving as a beacon of hope and solidarity across the globe.

Lenny Lensworth Frieling

Shared Knowledge Is Power!

Leonard Frieling Pen Of Justice Legal Blogger
  • Senior Counsel Emeritus to the Boulder Law firm Dolan + Zimmerman LLP : (720)-610-0951
  • Former Judge
  • Photographer of the Year, AboutBoulder 2023
  • First Chair and Originator of the Colorado Bar Association’s Cannabis Law Committee, a National first.
  • Previous Chair, Boulder Criminal Defense Bar (8 years)
  • Twice chair Executive Counsel, Colorado Bar Association Criminal Law Section
  • NORML Distinguished Counsel Circle
  • Life Member, NORML Legal Committee
  • Life Member, Colorado Criminal Defense Bar
  • Board Member Emeritus, Colorado NORML
  • Chair, Colorado NORML, 7 years including during the successful effort to legalize recreational pot in Colorado
  • Media work, including episodes of Fox’s Power of Attorney, well in excess of many hundreds media interviews, appearances, articles, and podcasts, including co-hosting Time For Hemp for two years.
  • Board member, Author, and Editor for Criminal Law Articles for the Colorado Lawyer, primary publication of the Colorado Bar Assoc. 7 Years, in addition to having 2 Colorado Lawyer cover photos, and numerous articles for the Colorado Lawyer monthly publication.
  • LEAP Speaker, multi-published author, University lectures Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, Denver University Law School, Univ. of New Mexico, Las Vegas NM, and many other schools at all levels.
  • http://www.Lfrieling.com
Boulder Colorado Air Quality

A Day on Boulder Creek

Featured Boulder Song

Community Partners