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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

What do you think about the rainbow flag?

669 replies

DJLippy · 28/02/2020 12:13

Does anyone else get a shudder when they see a rainbow flag outside a venue? Harry the Owl compared it to a Nazi flag and I'm inclined to agree.

I'm Bisexual so I should be thrilled to find all these inclusive spaces but I just feel a stab of anxiety and make a mental note to steer well clear. It's a real physiological reaction not something I can control.

A few years ago I used to love seeing the pride flag outside bars. I guess back then it actually meant something. Now I feel like it's actually a sign of exclusion - that anyone who doesn't believe that twaw is not safe there.

Also it does kind of imply that all the other venues are a threat to the LGBTQI++ people. I actually get a lot less grief being with a woman in a normie bar than I would in a gay bar. What's more its often just random cafes and shops which as far as I am aware have no gay history. Just feels like a cheap virtue signal by straight woke folk.

I'd be interested in hearing from people who are same sex attracted. Do you feel that the flag which used to represent your community been appropriated by male supremacists? Do you self exclude from spaces which fly the rainbow flag?

OP posts:
NotAGirl · 28/02/2020 12:19

As another bi woman my feelings have also completely changed. I used to find it very positive now it very much signals 'this is not a safe place for you to be' and I feel really sad about that

BringbackLang · 28/02/2020 12:19

Agree with you Lippy. I always used to love seeing the rainbow flag, I saw it as a force for good. Now I cringe when I see it - it's become a symbol of oppression and exclusion for me. It feels like over saturation of with it being everywhere. Forced and tiresome.

MsMcWibble · 28/02/2020 12:21

Not same sex attracted but I also shudder. Didn't previously but now I associate it with anti women.

BringbackLang · 28/02/2020 12:22

Apologies - I'm not same sex attracted but believe that who you are attracted too doesn't matter in the slightest and shouldn't matter. It's how you are as a person that counts.

EmpressLangClegInChair · 28/02/2020 12:22

The rainbow's become a symbol of homophobia & misogyny.

My office is on the London Pride march route & last summer it was hell seeing them everywhere. A lot of the local coffee shops simply became off limits because they had them all over the place. Sad

LangSpartacusCleg · 28/02/2020 12:23

It isn’t about pride any more. It is corporate branding

FunnyInjury · 28/02/2020 12:23

I feel the same as I do about the England flag. That's it's been hi-jacked by extremists for the most part.

FunnyInjury · 28/02/2020 12:24

Also agree re corporate branding. Perhaps that will stop when the powers that be wake up to the fact it's been hi-jacked by extremists 🤷‍♀️

TheCountessofFitzdotterel · 28/02/2020 12:27

It puts me on high alert for misogyny and lesbophobia. Not that it always means that but it is used often enough in that way to make one wary.
It used to be what my lesbian friends had on their fridges...

ArranUpsideDown · 28/02/2020 12:29


And the NHS and similar public places are awash with flags, huge rainbow window decals, rainbow lanyards and badges that involve a pledge. See: NHS Rainbow Badge Pledge

I have authoritarianism and totalitarianism related nausea because it so strongly echoes the loyalty pledges in Catch 22

NNUH Rainbow Badge pledge "l would like to wear this badge because inclusivity should be a natural given state but it is still up to the majority of people to ensure that this does encompass all groups. It's important to me to show that I am an ally to the LGBT+ community as well as others and to represent that within my department at the hospital." - Systems Support Officer

I'm still waiting for this level of allegiance and support to be stated for people with learning disabilities, those of us who are deaf, partially-sighted, have vision problems etc. etc.

What do you think about the rainbow flag?
RicketyLangClegety · 28/02/2020 12:30

Yes, I'm bisexual and completely agree with you. It used to be lovely and a sign of a gay-friendly location. Now the rainbow is more likely to signify a place that is potentially dangerous to the "wrong kind" of gay people. It doesn't feel safe at all.

marvellousnightforamooncup · 28/02/2020 13:37

I don't think it's a LGB flag anymore it's a flag for queer theory and all the misogyny and noncery that goes with it.

ScrimshawTheSecond · 28/02/2020 13:42

I see it as a warning.

A shame, though - it was such a lovely bright, hopeful flag.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine · 28/02/2020 13:43

I used to think it was fantastic, a great symbol of difference and inclusivity.

Now I find it vaguely threatening.

Goosefoot · 28/02/2020 13:48

I tend to see it now as being associated with authoritarianism. I think though I've felt it as rather exclusive for a long time, almost since it started being put out on business windows and things. I suppose that is the same time Pride parades and such began to be about celebrations of sexuality, so maybe that is why.

I've always tended to take the view that generally speaking, our sexuality is private, and I differentiate that from family life which is often public, and my sense is that we've decided to bring sexuality into public life which I am not crazy about. I suppose the other thing is I have a few gay Catholic friends who are celibate, and I don't like the implication that they don't count and are self-hating homophobes because they don't have the right opinions about sex.

I guess maybe my sense is that it had begun to become reductive, even before it became weird and corporatised.

BoreOfWhabylon · 28/02/2020 13:51

I find I now have an almost visceral reaction to it. I have grown to detest it.

Novina · 28/02/2020 14:04

I feel exactly the same, OP. Used to see it as a positive, joyful sign. But now I associate it with stonewall, and misogyny, and authoritarianism, and intolerance. I hate that almost every nhs worker I come into contact with is wearing a rainbow nhs badge. It makes me feel like they've been 'stonewalled', so probably trained in stonewall law rather than actual law, and told that sex doesn't matter and anyone who thinks it does is a bigot. It's awful.

aliasundercover · 28/02/2020 14:19

I also used to love it. When I saw it flying outside a guesthouse I wanted to go inside to tell the owner how brave she was - this was back when homosexuality was not so accepted.

Now: yes, I see it either as a sign of exclusion or virtue signalling. I'd never wear it.

EverardDigby · 28/02/2020 14:29

I'm bi, but I identified as a lesbian for most of my 20s and I remember the flag coming in, and there was some reason I didn't like it then, though I can't remember why, maybe it was always too male / queer identified. I hate it now. Partly because of the queer thing and partly because of well meaning straight people having no idea what it's actually like being a lesbian, or women who think it's great to have a gay male friend but wonder why lesbians have to look like men etc.

Aesopfable · 28/02/2020 14:33

It feels authoritarian and I feel threatened and that I won’t be treated fairly. That a select group have appointed themselves as judge, jury and executioner to the rest of us and anyone who is not in the ‘in’ group (transgender) must be subordinate.

If flown/sported by the nhs I worry my desires for same sex staff, single sex wards or myself and my daughters, will be ignored and that our needs and safety will be placed second the feelings and sexual fetishes of men.

If displayed by schools I worry that my child is being indoctrinated by a political lobby group that reinforces gender stereotypes and encourage harmful treatment of children.

If displayed by the police I feel unsafe and wonder how it is that stonewall gets to dictate policing matters

When displayed by Parliament I wonder who is in charge.

Yes it is increasingly like a Nazi swasticker

Catting · 28/02/2020 14:35

It's the TRA flag now. Avoid at all costs.
It is sad though, considering that it used to be a signal that this was a 'safe space', it now means baseball bats, 'I punch terfs' t-shirts, and misogyny.

Toseland · 28/02/2020 14:35

Thank you for posting this OP. I thought it was just me and my Dad who felt like this! I steer well clear of places that show that flag, I too have an immediate negative reaction. The flag symbolises institutional capture/ignorance in my view. I cannot believe how this agenda is being pushed so hard at the expense of women and children. There is one in our Primary school which makes me rage!


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Whatisthisfuckery · 28/02/2020 14:38

I used to love seeing the rainbow flag. My heart would do a little leap whenever I saw it displayed anywhere. Now I just see it as a warning to stay away.

It’s not that I think I’m going to get grief in anywhere that displays it necessarily, as most people don’t yet know the lesbophobia and misogyny associated with it. It’s just that I don’t know where or when I might get grief, or if I’m going to be bombarded with TWAW woke authoritarianism, and the thought that I might makes me on edge. I also feel uncomfortable and out of place anywhere that subscribes to the whole glittery rainbow ethos.

All I ever wanted as a lesbian was to live my life quietly, attracting no more attention than anyone else. The whole rainbow washing of society makes me feel more conspicuous and singled out than ever.

Nammech111 · 28/02/2020 14:41

I agree, used to be positive but now it feels like certain people want to exclude themselves or accuse straight people of not understanding. Or as a straight person going in there they would not be welcomed?.
I didn't like it when I saw the red poppy was also changed to a rainbow poppy. Found it very disrespectful. Can't we just mourn the loss of the people who died and celebrate them being heroes without it being about sexuality?
When my sister come out as gay (apart from my mum) all of us were really supportive and couldn't give a shit as long as she was happy, and from the moment she come out she really shined bright bless her.
She stopped seeing the family for years to surround herself with people 'like her, or understand her ' and in the end I had to say to her that she was discriminating against herself and creating an issue when there wasnt one. Now shes a lot more comfortable with herself

SomeDyke · 28/02/2020 14:47

The rainbow has become so used, by businesses who don't actually give a shit, just rainbow lanyards, and all the straight folks desperately trying to be 'inclusive'. Which seems to mean a lesbian with her wife being asked, as some sort of check, if we're both female (cos we both look a bit butch!). Whereas in the past, too butch laydees, no need to ask, totally obvious, and we just carried on.

If shown by a 'gay' business, you know straight away you'll probably see a 'no terfs here' sign just below..............

So, back to symbols and signals, Get the L out, and lets get back to women-only, even if it means we have to go back underground.

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