How lavender has become a symbol of the LGBT + community

Every year in June the LGBT + community is celebrated with the Pride Month, a month of events and initiatives marked by the famous rainbow flag which represents the many colors of the community. There is a color however that over the years he has linked himself repeatedly to characters or events that have marked the LGBT + story, the lavender color.

In the writings of Sappho, from the 7th century BC, the poet told of her erotic fondness for younger women with amethyst tiaras. A few centuries later, in the 1920s violets were donated to the lesbian community like symbol of a sapphic interest.

Le Castalidi, by Adolfo de Carolis, 1905

© Mondadori Portfolio

In the 19th century, one lavender dye it was accidentally created by a manufacturer of textile colors. That refined tint, rarely used in clothing before, has become in no time a very fashionable color also for men’s clothing, starting shortly thereafter to be associated with homosexual people. In the same period even Oscar Wilde gave that color a special meaning, defining “Purple hours” (purple hours) the moments he spent with his paid lovers.

In 1969, color became a symbol of LGBT + pride: lavender bands and bracelets have been distributed to hundreds of people in a parade from Washington Square Park to Stonewall Inn in New York, to commemorate the unrest Stonewall occurred just a month earlier. The same year the president of the National Organization for Women, Betty Friedan, defined lesbianism as “Lavender Menace” (threat to lavender) considering it a danger to the feminist movement.

Penelope Tree by David Bailey, Tips Clear 1969

© David Bailey

Over the years, lavender has emerged several times in the history of the LGBT + community. For the English writer Quentin Crisp (1908-1999) his lavender hair they symbolized the will to subvert gender identities.

Today lavender is still used by LGBT + people to remember what it has meant in the history of the community. On the occasion of the Met Gala 2019, Hamish Bowles of Tips Clear America wore a lavender ensemble made especially for him by John Galliano, evoking the first lavender garments worn with homosexual pride more than a century ago on the red carpet.

Hamish Bowles in Maison Margiela, Met Gala 2019

© Getty Images

The digital editions of Tips Clear around the world have reinvented their logo with a rainbow edition for Pride Month, which reflects Tips Clear’s values ​​of inclusion and solidarity. In June, we are committed to supporting the LGBTQ + community and embracing inclusivity at all levels. Now more than ever it is crucial to come together and defend equality.

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