Can We Share the Rainbow?

Olivia Meadows
3 min readOct 19, 2021

How LGBT Took Over the Rainbow

image courtesy of PlanetaroundtheSun, Etsy

Rainbows typically occur after the rain when wavelengths from the sun enter floating water droplets in the air. Because sunlight is composed of several colors, when rays from the sun exit the water droplets, they are separated into colors of light that reflect in the sky as a Rainbow.

The multicolored arc-shaped phantasms are beautiful traffic stoppers and believed by Christians to be symbolic of the covenant God made to Noah. Many spiritual individuals believe the Rainbow when spotted, is a sign of luck, hope, promise, new beginnings, and eternal life.

When examined closely, violet usually appears on the bottom of the Rainbow because it has the shortest wavelength of light and bends the most while passing through water droplets in the sky.

Red, the longest wavelength, bends the least when passing through water droplets and will usually appear at the top of the Rainbow.

So, how did this beautiful symbol become synonymous with the Gay movement?

Rewind to 1978, when Gilbert Baker, an overtly gay man, reports he was approached by Harvey Milk, an elected U.S. official, to design a symbol for the gay population.

Baker felt a flag was the highest form of pride and chose a Rainbow with eight colors, hot pink-for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, turquoise for art, indigo for harmony, and violet for spirit. Because of production issues, the pink and turquoise, were removed and replaced with blue.

In 1994 the downgraded six colored flag became an international symbol for LGBT throughout the world.

So does this mean heterosexuals can’t use Rainbow images on their apparel?

Prior to 1980, the hippies used Rainbows on their campers, T-shirts and everywhere they could to represent diversity and hope.

Ironically since 1978, straight communities gave up the Rainbow. But why? Why would a straight person have second thoughts about wearing a Rainbow?

Folks, this is not the Bloods or the Crips. Surely you won’t catch a beat down if you’re straight and wear Rainbow apparel.