Lesbians are women who have an attraction or orientation towards other women.
The name "lesbian" is derived from the name of the isle of Lesbos in the Aegean Sea. Originally, the term was applied to anything from the island, but in modern usage it refers to one person: the poet Sappho, who lived there around 630-570 BCE. Sappho is known for composing poetry about her love for women and their form. Prior to the term "lesbian" being in popular use, the term "sapphic" was often used in its stead.
In 2010, Natalie McCray of the blog This Lesbian Life created a flag for "lipstick lesbians", who identify more with the femme side of womanhood. The flag features 7 stripes, three pink-ish on top, white in the middle, and three red-ish on the bottom. A variant of this flag without the lipstick was made, possibly due to the difficulty in reproducing the lipstick shape, and was later popularised on Tumblr.
Following controversies and concerns that the flag excluded lesbian identities other than femme, many alternative flags cropped up. In 2018, a series of polls were held on Tumblr, eventually settling on a design by Emily Gwen posted in June 2018.
Each stripe has a meaning:
- Dark orange: Gender non conformity
- Orange: Independence
- Light orange: Community
- White: Unique relationships to womanhood
- Light pink: Serenity and peace
- Pink: Love and sex
- Dark pink: Femininity
There are still many other lesbian flags in use, which this site does not yet document. Thi site is open source and accepting contributions, which you can see by visiting it on GitHub (the cat-like icon at the top).