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Queer Colors

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The power of color.
The LGBTQ+ rainbow flag was created in 1978 as a symbol of queer pride. Since then, it's become a recognizable symbol of the LGBTQ+ community, and several other flags (such as the orange, white, and pink lesbian flag, the pink, purple, and blue bisexual flag, the blue, pink, and white transgender flag, the black, grey, white, and purple asexual flag, and several others) have followed in representing the specific communities in the non-heterosexual continuum. Historically, pink and lavender have also been used as queer color symbols.
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In fiction, a queer character will often be associated with their pride flag colors to emphasize their sexuality or gender identity. These colors can show up in their physical appearance or outfits (which often shows they are proud to be themselves) or in more subtle cues like cinematography, lighting, or a specific Color Wash. For example, the trend of 'bisexual lighting', where bi characters are lit with blue, purple, and pink, arose in The New '10s. This can be a meaningful way to express LGBT+ pride. Compare Queer Flowers, when different flower species are used to symbolize queer love, and Rainbow Motif.

Note: Please limit examples to characters confirmed in the story or by Word of Gay to be queer.


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Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • In episode 10 of Wonder Egg Priority Momoe must protect Kaoru, who the audience is led to believe to be a girl. But as the two talk, Kaoru eventually admits to being a boy "on the inside." Notably, Kaoru wears a light blue jacket with white and light pink stripes. He's also introduced standing in front of an ad with the same color scheme.
  • Zombie Land Saga:
    • When Lily reveals that she's transgender to Sakura, the latter is wearing a skirt that's got light blue, pink, and white stripes, the colors of the Trans Pride Flag.
    • In the fifth episode of Revenge, trans girl Lily wears an outfit that incorporates the colors of pink, white and teal. Her bow in particular is striped pink/white/pink and her teal hair makes it look similar to the transgender flag.

    Comic Books 
  • Runaways (Rainbow Rowell):
    • In the issue where Nico Minoru officially comes out as bisexual, the cover shows her profile framed in blues, pinks, and purples.
    • During her brief career as a freelance superhero, Karolina's costume consists of a white, pink, and magenta bodysuit, with the colors arranged in the style of the lesbian pride flag.
    • Throughout issue #11, as Gert deals with her discomfort with how openly gay everyone seems to be since her resurrection, the colors pink, purple, and magenta keeps appearing in greater and greater quantities, including on people on the street (some of whom are queer-coded), in Molly's room at the hostel, and throughout Klara's foster dads' house (especially her bedroom and her clothes.) The same issue has Gert dying her signature purple hair back to its natural brown color.
  • In Top 10, Jackie "Phantom" Kowalski's costume is black, purple, and white, and has a upside-down triangle emblem that makes it vaguely reminiscent of the "labrys flag" used by lesbians in the late nineties, when the series was written.

    Fan Works 
  • Burning Bridges, Building Confidence: Cole is a lesbian and has a bracelet in the colors of the lesbian pride flag.
  • Elementals of Harmony: Sideboard of Harmony: "Ave Discordia", Rainbow Dash, who has rainbow hair, is called the "The ambiguously gay wonder" by Discord.
  • he sees your dreams: When Stefanie and Denise are dancing together, the lights around them are pink and orange, the colours on the lesbian flag. The tags on this fic state that the two are indeed lesbians.
  • HSETAU: In the first panel of this page, Nepeta and Equius are holding asexual and pansexual pride flags respectively.
  • Total Drama Do Over: When Giselle reveals that Harrison is bisexual, she throws blue, purple, and pink confetti into the air.
  • Infinity Train: Seeker of Crocus:
    • A passenger in the Palimpsest Car is named Tres who wears a heart-shaped earring and bracelet colored cyan, pink and white, which are the colors of the transgender flag. Asher confirms that Tres is a trans man just by having a look at him.
    • Specter is confirmed demiromantic — someone who can't have a romantic relationship unless they have an emotional bond with someone — whith the colors of the flag being black (his leather jacket), white (blouse and pants), grey (his hair) and dark green (his number)
  • The Sunjackers's Candy Chip has coat and hair in pastel pink and blue which, along with white, are teh colors of the transgender pride flag. Candy is confirmed in-story to be a trans woman (or rather trans mare).
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    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Prior to the main storyline in Atomic Blonde, Cold War-era spy Lorraine Broughton had a sexual relationship with fellow agent James Gascoine. Her scenes with French agent Delphine Lasalle in an East Berlin restaurant have heavily saturated pink, purple, and blue lighting, and they have a whirlwind affair.
  • One film poster for Bohemian Rhapsody depicts Freddie Mercury— whose bisexuality is a major plot point in the film— awash in blue, pink, and purple lighting.
  • Crazy Rich Asians: Oliver, a campy member of a stuffy Old Money family, confirms to Rachel that he is gay by saying he's the "rainbow sheep" of the clan.

    Literature 
  • The cover art of "Dreadnought", the first book in the Nemesis Series, a series about a trans girl who becomes a super hero, features a silhouette of the protagonist against a sunset with the pink, white and blue of the trans pride flag.
  • Discussed in The Martian. When Mark learns that the probe Earth is sending to Mars is named after Iris, the goddess of rainbows, he jokingly refers to it as a "gay probe."
  • Wild Cards: Minor character The Candle is openly bisexual and has the superhuman power to generate seven kinds of flame, each one a color of the rainbow. He is one of the contestants in the Reality TV show "American Hero". He's a good guy, but is said to have no chance to win in the show, because "America isn't ready for a Hero that is a switch-hitter."

    Live-Action TV 
  • Black Mirror: San Junipero: Pink, blue, and purple lights are a recurring motif for Kelly. She's bisexual, having been married to a man in her life on earth and now in a relationship with Yorkie.
  • Spoofed in The Boys where the marketing department of the lesbian (really bi) superheroine Maeve wants her to wave a rainbow flag as seen in this draft pitched to her. Maeve is not amused.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Captain Holt, who is openly gay, displays his pride through his office accessories. He keeps a small rainbow flag in his desktop pen holder, and his shelves hold a row of six binders that are each one of the rainbow's colors.
  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Darryl sings "Gettin' Bi", a song about his bisexuality and dispelling negative bisexual stereotypes. It is sung on a stage with the bi flag as a background and pink, purple, and blue lighting to fit. To a lesser extent, the lighting also associates it with the '80s, as the song is a Musical Pastiche of Huey Lewis and the News.
  • Queer Eye (2018): One of the establishing shots of the show has the Fab Five (who are all into men) walk across a rainbow crosswalk in Atlanta.
  • Riverdale: Toni and Cheryl are often depicted in bisexual lighting. They are both bisexual characters.
  • Sense8: Amanita Caplan has dreadlocks in shades of blue, purple and pink which are the colors of the Bisexual Pride flag. She's bisexual, being in a committed relationship with Nomi, her girlfriend, but also participates in the psychic orgies which include men.
  • Infamously in Supernatural, when Castiel breaks Naomi's mind control, the plain window of her office turns into the colors of the bisexual flag. Soon after, Dean tells Cas "I need you". In the final season, it's revealed that Cas does have feelings for Dean thought it's unclear whether or not it's reciprocated.
  • Vagrant Queen makes liberal use of pink, blue, and purple lighting around Elida, who is shown as attracted to women (possibly implying that she's bisexual given they're the bi flag colors, though we don't see her interested in any men onscreen-this might have come up if they had a second season).

    Magazines 
  • One article in MAD issue 362 was called "When Other TV Shows Finally Come Out Of The Closet", with one of the show being parodied was Sesame Street, which had the cast saying that "This episode was brought to you by the letters G, A, and Y, and by the colors pink and lavender".

    Music 
  • Demi Lovato's song "Cool for the Summer", which is about a heavily implied same-sex relationship, employs blue, purple, and pink lighting in a club setting.
  • Janelle Monáe employs pink, purple, and blue lighting in her music video for "Make Me Feel." Monae is queer, and the video shows her flirting with both a man and a woman.
  • Teniwoha's "Villain" is about a trans youth in unrequited love with someone else who was assigned male at birth. The lyrics contain the words, "the crueler a town, the more beautiful its rainbow."
  • Sufjan Stevens' Love Yourself / With My Whole Heart single was released to coincide with Pride 2019 and, along with the lyrics of self-acceptance and the fact that the proceeds were donated to charities supporting LGBTQ youth, the cover text is also rendered in rainbow colors.
  • The cover art for blackgaze artist Violet Cold's album Empire of Love is a rainbow flag with a star and crescent superimposed over it. It's meant to represent the artist's experience as a queer person in Azerbaijan (a country whose flag also has the star and crescent motif). The bright colors are all the more striking given that it's a metal album.

    Stand-Up Comedy 
  • Discussed by Demetri Martin:
    Martin: I love rainbows, but I'm not gay, so when I wear a rainbow shirt I have to write "Not Gay" on it. But I'm not against gay people, so then I have to put "But Supportive" under that. I just think it's odd one group took refracted light. Pretty greedy, gays!

    Video Games 
  • In Borderlands 3, one of the vault hunters is FL4K; a robot who uses they/them pronouns. They have a subtle, but visible pin in the colours of the nonbinary pride flag (Yellow, White, Purple, and Black).
  • The car racing/fighting game Buck Up and Drive! has some billboards on the courses showing the Gay and Transgender Pride flag colors. There's an option to toggle them in the game's settings...which turns ALL the billboards into Gay and Transgender Pride flags.
  • Bugsnax: Floofty is non-binary, and their color scheme matches the non-binary pride flag: black from their glasses, purple from their body, white from their eyes and hair, and yellow from their nose.
  • In Fate/Grand Order Chevalier D'Eon's outfits are primarily blue, pink and white and resemble the transgender flag, most obviously in the third ascension. The historical D'Eon was most likely transgender and lived the final years of her life as a woman, but Fate's version is best described as genderfluid.
  • Accompanying Testament's portrayal as non-binary in Guilty Gear -STRIVE-, their two new familiars have pink hair, light blue hair, and white(ish) skin for both, corresponding to the transgender flag.
  • Used as foreshadowing in Life Is Strange 2. A photograph in episode 1 shows Sean wearing a shirt with pink, blue, and purple, the colors of the bisexual flag. His bisexuality is revealed in episode 3.
    • In the first episode of Life Is Strange: True Colors, Steph Gingrich, a lesbian, is wearing a shirt with a d20 dice featuring the orange, white, and pink colors of the lesbian flag.

    Visual Novels 
  • Reigning Passions: Galen is non-binary and their hair is primarily light blue and pink, two of the colors of the trans pride flag. Their shirt is white, the third color of the flag.
  • A Year of Springs, the Compilation Rerelease of one night, hot springs and its two sequels, includes a new epilogue that sees each character wearing a new outfit. Haru is transgender, and wears the pink, blue, and white of the transgender flag; Erika is bisexual, and wears the pink, blue, and purple of the bisexual flag; and Manami has realized she's asexual and is now wearing the purple, black, grey, and white of the asexual flag.
  • ValiDate: Struggling Singles In Your Area: Among the many pins Inaya wears on her overalls, one of them is a bisexual pride flag pin. She also has a bi pride phone case.

    Web Animation 
  • Chad Magical, the Doppelganger Sorcerer of JoCat's A Crap Guide to D&D, is transgender per a tweet by JoCat, and his outfit consist entirely of the colors blue, pink, and white.

    Webcomics 
  • Batman: Wayne Family Adventures: During Tim and Bernard's date the two are wearing jackets in the colors of the Bi flag, and the sunset is also in bi flag colors. This color choice was confirmed as intentional by the artists.
  • Dumbing of Age: Dina Saruyama, a romantic asexual, is seen wearing a gray shirt with white, black and purple stripes on sleeves in two strips.
    • Additionally, Becky is a lesbian (quite openly, and yellingly) and from this comic to this one, her hat, hair, face and then her dual-toned jacket make up the lesbian flag.
  • In Goblins, which is created by a trans author, the goblin angel has a sword in the colors of the transgender pride flag. She also wears pink, white and teal bracelets and rings on various parts of her body.
  • In Muted Camille's father Kallen, a trans man, shows up with a bouquet of flowers in the blue, white and pink colors of the trans flag.
  • In The Order of the Stick, the elven wizard Vaarsuvius, who was confirmed as genderqueer through Word of Gay, is rather fond of the spell Prismatic Spray, which is visualized as a rainbow-colored ray of light. An official t-shirt design has V using this rainbow spell against a troll, with the caption "Just an ordinary picture of a wizard defeating a monster with a high level spell. No additional symbolism here, nope." which hints at the character's LGBTQ identity.
  • Used as a Visual Pun in the first syndicated Rae the Doe strip, which has her introduce herself. In the last panel she points out that does don't normally have antlers while winking; the background changes to the transgender pride flag colours.
  • The main characters of Sunflowers and Lavenders has color palette based on their respective gender identity/orientation. For example the protagonist Penny (who is pansexual) has pink-yellow-blue themed color palette.

    Web Video 

    Western Animation 
  • Amphibia: The I.T. girls Ally and Jess wear the colors of the pansexual flag for the former and the bisexual flag for the latter. Both are confirmed to be LGBT by Word Of God.
  • In Baymax!, one of the people who gives Baymax advice on menstrual pads is a trans man who wears a shirt patterned after the transgender flag.
  • BoJack Horseman:
    • The cab company Todd starts in season three, Cabracadabra, has a sign colored in purple, white, and black. At the end of the season, Todd realizes he's asexual, likely making this subtle foreshadowing.
    • The sign at the asexual meet-up Todd attends in "Hooray, Todd Episode!" is white with a purple and black border.
  • In the series finale of The Legend of Korra, there's a shot of the sky in blue, purple, and pink as Korra and Asami become an Official Couple. Both characters are also confirmed to be bisexual.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: Marc Anciel (a Punny Name on the French word for rainbow, arc en ciel), is a shy, quiet boy who has a rainbow-colored shirt and blushes around Nathaniel.
  • The episode "Horn Sweet Horn" from The Powerpuff Girls (2016) ends with the heart colored in pink, white, and blue rather than different shades of pink as normal, very reminiscent of the transgender flag. The episode (about a horse who wants to become a unicorn) was originally promoted as a transgender allegory; though Word Of God would later claim this wasn't the case, there's no other reason for the flag to be colored that way.
  • Enid from OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes, has a peace sign-shaped bi pride flag sticker on her bike helmet. When Mr. Gar gives her a new bike, she immediately adds some stickers to it, including an identical sticker. In-series, Enid's primary love interest and figure of admiration has been the female hero Red Action.
  • The Owl House:
    • Luz Noceda is canonically bisexual, and this neon promo poster for the "Enchanting Grom Fright" episode (where she receives Ship Tease with her female Love Interest Amity) depicts her with pink, purple, and blue colors, the colors of the bisexual flag. Later, in the episode "Eclipse Lake", she spends the entire episode in purple pajamas with pink and blue socks.
    • Amity Blight is a lesbian with a motif for the color purple, a color usually associated with sapphic women. This is especially notable when she dyes her hair purple, representing her own decision to take control of her self-identity.
    • In general, the backgrounds for big romantic moments between Luz and Amity tend to have a pink, purple, and blue color scheme.
    • Lilith Clawthorne is implied to be an aromantic asexual during the March 2022 charity livestream (and later confirmed as one per her voice actress), and after absorbing half of Eda's curse, her right eye turns grey, which, alongside her remaining green eye, makes up two of the colors of the aromantic flag.
  • In the Ready Jet Go! special "Back to Bortron 7", Jet sings a soft duet with his male friend Sean, and the colors in the song are all of the bisexual pride flag - pink, purple, and blue. They have a lot of Ship Tease in the special, and in the show in general. Jet started out as Ambiguously Bi, but after the show ended, he was confirmed to be bisexual by Craig Bartlett.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power:
    • She-Ra's power is often associated with rainbows — she and all the other Princesses are each associated with a certain color, and when they join forces and use their abilities in tandem, they glow in their designated color and together make a huge rainbow. The current She-Ra, Adora, is revealed to be in love with Catra, and finding out it's mutual is what ultimately saves her life in the series finale.
    • Married couple Netossa and Spinnerella are seen holding a bouquet in varying colors of red, pink and white during "Mer-Mysteries", in what behind the scenes confirms is a reference to the lipstick lesbian pride flag.

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