Image of Trans Flag by Vectonauta on Freepik

Transgender Flag Day, August 19th 2023

Today we celebrate Transgender Flag Day. Many of you may wonder: why do we celebrate it and how did this day come about? We explain the importance of the trans flag and what its colours mean.

What is Trans Flag Day?

Monica Helms, a trans activist and Navy veteran, created and designed the transgender flag on August 19th 1999. Hence why we celebrate it on August 19th. The following year, in 2000, Helms’ design was first shown at the Phoenix Pride Parade. More than a decade later, on August 19th 2014, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History accepted Helms’ original flag and it is now in the museum’s archive.

The trans flag has its own emoji and is now included in the progressive pride flag, showcasing the inclusion of trans people within the LGBTQ+ movement. It serves to acknowledge the individual struggles trans people face due to their gender identity. But it is also a reminder to continuously celebrate the trans community.

What is the meaning of the colours?

The trans flag consists of baby blue, pink and white stripes. The blue and pink represent the colours traditionally associated with boys and girls. Blue is for boys and pink is for girls. We are aware that this gendered association has nothing to do with people’s gender and only serves to further the Western gender binary.

The white stripe symbolises a transition between the two colours. However, it also represents people who do not identify with the binary of male and female. The entire flag shows a shift from one end of the gender spectrum to the other.

The meaning of the flag’s colours can seem a bit binary. However, this does not mean that the flag is exclusive to binary trans people. Anyone identifying as trans can claim it. There is also a separate flag for non-binary people that consists of yellow, white, purple, and black stripes.

Having a flag that represents the community you are a part of can be an act of visibility in itself. It is a symbol of pride and many LGBTQ+ people wear the flags of their community at Pride marches and political protests to showcase their visibility. Trans and gender diverse people will not be erased. All their stories and experiences will continue to be heard and seen.