LGBT Symbol Stamps

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THE RED RIBBON (HIV/AIDS) AWARENESS

The Red Ribbon Project was created by singer/songwriter Paul Jabara and the New York-based Visual AIDS group in 1991. Visual AIDS is a charity group of art professionals aimed at recognizing and honoring friends and colleagues who are living with, or have died of HIV/AIDS. Visual AIDS not only encourages art organizations, galleries, museums, and other AIDS organizations to commemorate those who have died of AIDS, but also to educate the public about the transmission of HIV and the needs of those living with AIDS. It's raises funds for research and treatment of AIDS. The red ribbon was originally inspired by the yellow ribbons prominently displayed during the Gulf War in support of U.S. soldiers. The color red was chosen because it is the color of blood- AIDS and HIV being blood-related diseases- and its symbolic connection to passion and love. The red ribbon made its public debut when host Jeremy Irons wore it during the 1991 Tony Awards. Since then, wearing the red ribbon has become a fashion statement and extremely politically correct. Some feel that the red ribbon has lost it's importance, and is now simply lip service to AIDS causes. However, the Red Ribbon Project is still going strong and remains a driving force behind AIDS awareness. It is the Project's sincerest hope that one day it will no longer be needed.

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PINK INVERTED TRIANGLE

The pink triangle is easily one of the more popular and widely-recognized symbols for the gay community. Today, for many the pink triangle represents pride, solidarity. As the pink triangle is historically a male symbol, the black triangle has similarly been reclaimed by lesbians and feminists as a symbol of pride and solidarity.

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GENDER FEMALE SYMBOL

Biological gender symbols are common astrological signs handed down from ancient Roman times. The pointed Mars symbol represents the male and the Venus symbol with the cross represents the female. Double interlocking male symbols have been used by gay men since the 1970s. Double interlocking female symbols have often been used to denote lesbianism, but some feminists have instead used the double female symbols to represent the sisterhood of women. These same feminists would use three interlocking female symbols to denote lesbianism.

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LAMBDA

The lambda was first chosen as a gay symbol when it was adopted in 1970 by the New York Gay Activists Alliance. It became the symbol of their growing movement of gay liberation. In 1974, the lambda was subsequently adopted by the International Gay Rights Congress held in Edinburgh, Scotland. As their symbol for lesbian and gay rights, the lambda became internationally popular. No one seems to have a definitive answer why the lambda was originally chosen as a gay symbol. Some suggest that it is simply the Greek lower-case letter L for liberation. Others cite the use of lambda in physics to denote energy (the energy we have when we work in concert) or wavelength. The ancient Greek Spartans regarded the lambda to mean unity, while the Romans considered it "the light of knowledge shed into the darkness of ignorance." Reportedly, Ancient Greeks placed the lambda on shields of Spartan warriors, who were often paired off with younger men in battle. (There was a theory that warriors would fight more fiercely knowing that their lovers were both watching and fighting alongside them.) Today, the symbol generally denotes lesbians' and gay men's concerns together.

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GENDER MALE SYMBOL

Biological gender symbols are common astrological signs handed down from ancient Roman times. The pointed Mars symbol represents the male and the Venus symbol with the cross represents the female. Double interlocking male symbols have been used by gay men since the 1970s. Double interlocking female symbols have often been used to denote lesbianism, but some feminists have instead used the double female symbols to represent the sisterhood of women. These same feminists would use three interlocking female symbols to denote lesbianism.

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EQUALITY SYMBOL

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is one of the most prominent national LGBT rights organizations. Its logo consists of a blue square with a yellow equal sign. The Equality Alabama logo utilizes an equal sign. The Marriage Equality (same-sex marriage) symbol is another good example.

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BISEXUAL SYMBOL

The bisexual moon symbol was created to symbolize the bisexual community

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TRANSGEDER SYMBOL

Popular symbols used to identify transvestites, transsexuals, intersexuals, and other transgender people frequently consist of modified gender symbols combining elements from both the male and female symbols. More specifically, the symbol depicts a circle with an arrow (as per the male symbol), a cross (as per the female symbol), and an additional striked arrow (combining the female cross and male arrow).

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THE PURPLE HAND

Inspired by "Black Hand" (La Mano Nera in Italian) extortion methods of Camorra gangsters and the Mafia, some GLBT activists attempted to institute "purple hand" as a gay and lesbian symbol as a warning to stop anti-gay attacks, with little success. In Turkey, the LGBT rights organization MorEl Eskisehir LGBTT Olusumu (Purple Hand Eskisehir LGBT Formation), also bears the name of this symbol.

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