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I’m Trans, and I Don’t Like or Use the Trans Flag

Facebook recently came out with a way to “rainbowify” your Facebook icon to show support for the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality. Soon after, a way to “celebrate trans pride” was also released.

Recently a friend of mine, Shadi Petosky, posted on Facebook something that expressed my feelings about the trans flag perfectly:

“I’ll never use the trans flag on my photo or in any context.

It’s anti-feminist, not one flavor of feminism wants to continue codefying baby pink for baby girls and baby blue for baby boys. In a culture where we so many are trying to undo the pink = girl and blue = boys thing it just seem completely regressive and out of touch. As a parent, I work hard against this slow drip of gender as vector oppression, as sex stereotype.

It’s not just pink and blue, it was designed as “baby pink” and “baby blue.” So at any event people literally buy streamers and balloons from the baby section of a party store. It feels infantile.
That’s an association I’d like to leave behind with those colors.

Anti-feminist and infantile. That’s our symbol? I get that people like flags and in the absence of anything else this one soldiers on –“

I tend to agree with this. Your thoughts?

Marti Abernathey
Marti Abernathey
Marti Abernathey is the founder of the Transadvocate and the previous managing editor. Abernathey has worn many different hats, including that of podcaster, activist, and radiologic technologist. She's been a part of various internet radio ventures such as TSR Live!, The T-Party, and The Radical Trannies, TransFM, and Sodium Pentathol Sunday. As an advocate she's previously been involved with the Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance, Rock Indiana Campaign for Equality, and the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition. She's taken vital roles as a grass roots community organizer in The Indianapolis Tax Day Protest (2003), The Indy Pride HRC Protest (2004), Transgender Day of Remembrance (2004), Indiana's Witch Hunt (2005), and the Rally At The Statehouse (the largest ever GLBT protest in Indiana - 3/2005). In 2008 she was a delegate from Indiana to the Democratic National Convention and a member of Barack Obama's LGBT Steering and Policy Committee.
  • Funny, until the past few months, I didn’t even know that we had a flag. My first thought when I saw the flag wasn’t a feminist critique. It was simply, “Oh god. That’s really ugly.”

    I like the rainbow flag because it’s so bright and eye-catching. This flag isn’t. It’s pastel, muted, and bland.

    That’s my 2¢ and probably worth only that.

    People have been asking for an alternative. How about this:
    1) A rainbow that shifts over a smooth gradient from left to right (rather than distinct horizontal stripes, as in the traditional pride flag): this is symbolic of gender taking many forms and expressions, contrary to a binary, and forming a many varied continuum.
    2) In the center, would be the transgender symbol—the one which combines the female and male symbols into one—perhaps in white outlined in lavender. Lavender combines pink & blue. The white, as was used in the original flag, is all colors combined into one. This would be symbolic of coming together in unity as a community.

    After reading people’s responses to the original flag, I understand the symbolism behind the colors buuuuuut, I don’t think that symbolism is readily apparent. It’s too easily confused with a pink & blue, “all gender is on a binary” interpretation. It too readily plays into the hands of our adversaries who accuse us of upholding the gender binary and gender conformity.