What do asexual and bisexual mean

From asexual to poly: each form of love has its own flag

Sexualities are diverse and colorful like the rainbow. So it's no wonder that Gilbert Baker's rainbow flag is now a globally established symbol of the queer community. Although the rainbow is supposed to unite them all, the various groups of the non-heterosexual spectrum have found each other under their own flags over time for greater public awareness. It is important to know that not every sexuality describes a sexual orientation, but sometimes means sexual identity.

[Also on ze.tt: The history of the rainbow flag]

Bisexual

The sexual orientation of bisexual people specifically relates to the gender aspect. They feel equally attracted to men and women in the context of a binary gender segregation. Not to be confused with pan or polysexual (see below).

The bisexual flag consists of three colors:

  • Blue stands for heterosexuality (40 percent)
  • Pink stands for homosexuality (40 percent)
  • Purple as a result of mixing blue and pink represents both (20 percent)

Activist Michael Page created the flag in 1998. He wanted to create a symbol that people who were emotionally and sexually attracted to both women and men could identify with.

Asexual

Asexuality means the absence of sexual attraction towards anyone, regardless of gender. An asexual person has no desire for sex, which in turn does not rule out sexual interaction in principle. Whether someone perceives physical contact or sex as pleasant, uncomfortable or neutral is completely individual. Many asexuals want relationships, but mostly on a purely platonic basis. They then describe themselves as hetero-, homo- or bi-romantic, for example. Asexual is just as little a binary concept, but consists of different degrees of expression. People who experience only very seldom or weak sexual attraction move in the gray area of ​​asexuality and are therefore called gray-asexual. People who first have to build a very strong emotional bond with a person in order to have sexual desire are called demisexual (semi-sexual).

The asexual flag reflects these different characteristics:

  • Black stands for completely asexual
  • Gray stands for gray and demisexual
  • White stands for non-asexual friends
  • Purple stands for community and solidarity

Under the direction of the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN), several groups of associations for asexual people presented their proposals for their own flag in the summer of 2010. In several voting rounds, its members voted for the winner's flag.

Pansexual

Pansexual people do not desire a specific gender or gender identity. In contrast to bisexual people, pansexuals are open to relationships with people who are not defined by a gender. The prefix Pan comes from the Greek and means something like "comprehensive" or "everything", the Latin equivalent is "omni". Pansexual is therefore to be equated with omnisexual.

The flag was allegedly designed by an internet user named Jasper in 2010 and is intended to reflect all sexual genders and identities according to the pansexual meaning:

  • Pink stands for the female spectrum. All people who identify with the female gender, regardless of their biological gender
  • Blue stands for the male spectrum
  • Yellow stands for everything in between, such as gender fluid, transgender or intersex

Polysexual

Polysexual means that a person is physically or sexually attracted to people of several genders. It can also be understood as an umbrella term for bisexual and pansexual. According to this, polysexuals feel attracted to both men and women, but also to transsexuals, intersexuals and people who do not assign themselves to any gender or sexuality. In contrast to pansexuality, polysexuals are not attracted to all of these “sexualities”, but only to some of them.

The Polysexual Pride Flag was designed by a Tumblr user named Samlin and first posted publicly in 2012. The colors and design of the flag are based on the flags for pansexual and bisexual people.

  • Pink stands for the love for women and for people who identify as women
  • Green stands for love for people outside the traditional binary spectrum
  • Blue stands for love for men and for people who identify as men

Non-binary

Non-binary describes people who are neither male nor female. The flag comes from the pen of the then 17-year-old Kye Rowan, who designed it in 2014 for all those non-binary people who did not feel represented by the gender-queer Pride Flag.

  • Yellow stands for people whose gender is outside the bisexual norm
  • White stands for people of many or all genders
  • Purple stands for the fluidity of gender, i.e. for people whose gender is a mixture of male and female
  • Black stands for people who do not assign themselves to any gender

Genderqueer

Genderqueer means that people cannot or do not want to commit themselves to one of the traditional gender roles (man, woman). Unlike non-binary, the term genderqueer refers to that social Gender that is shaped and handed down by society and culture. The external appearance can also be attributed to this. The Pride Flag for genderqueere people was designed by the author Marilyn Roxie in 2010:

  • Lavender as a mix of blue and pink stands for female and male, for androgyny
  • White stands for agender people
  • Green as the inverse color of lavender stands for people who place themselves outside the binary gender definition

Gender fluid

Gender fluids are people who move fluidly back and forth between their gender identities. You do not decide on a gender, but choose another depending on your feelings. This can be very often, several times a day, but also very rarely, once every few years. A gender fluid person is flexible in their identity. Sometimes gender fluidity is viewed as a sub-category of genderqueer.

The flag was allegedly invented by Tumblr user lostinthoughtspaceandfantasies:

  • Pink stands for femininity
  • White represents the lack of gender
  • Purple stands for the mixture of female and male
  • Black stands for all gender identities
  • Blue stands for masculinity

Agender

Agender means to be sexless. On the one hand, people identify themselves with it who do not feel they belong to any gender. On the other hand, agender can also mean not being able to locate oneself in the binary system of men and women.

The agender flag was also proposed on Tumblr by User Transrants.

  • Black and white represent the complete absence of gender identity
  • Gray stands for a partially existing gender identity
  • Green stands for a non-binary gender, i.e. neither strictly male nor female

Transgender

Transgender and transsexual are not the same thing. People who feel they belong to a different sex than the sex assigned to them at birth are referred to as transgender. This has nothing to do with (homo-) sexuality. A biological man who defines his sexual identity as female, for example, enters into a relationship with a man not as a homosexual but as a woman. Of course, there is also homosexuality among transgender people. For example, men who belong to the female gender and feel sexually attracted to women. Transgender people, on the other hand, feel so wrong in their biological body that they want to physically change with the help of surgical interventions and hormone treatments.

Although there are several versions of the transgender flag with different colors, this shape is arguably the most prominent. The transgender flag was designed by American trans woman Monica Helms in 1999 and first shown at an LGBTQ demonstration in Phoenix, Arizona, USA in 2000.

  • Light blue stands for male
  • Pink stands for feminine and is constantly changing with light blue
  • White stands for intersexuality, trans people or people who do not define themselves according to the binary gender system

Intersex

Intersex people cannot be clearly assigned to the male or female sex hormonally, anatomically or genetically. According to the Bundesverband Intersexueller Menschen e.V., some intersexual people would have "organically grown, natural handling of taboo words, they also use swear words confidently to describe facts and characterize themselves as intersex, hermaphrodite or hermaphrodite."

The yellow flag with the purple circle in the middle, both deliberately not gender-specific colors such as pink or blue, was adopted by the Organization Intersex International Australia created. The circle symbolizes the unbroken, the wholeness and the right to be as the person is and wants to be.

By the way: In our search for a flag that clearly stands for heterosexual love, we unfortunately did not find it.