Monica Helms, creator of the trans pride flag, donates it to the Smithsonian

monica helmsLEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS — A week ago, Monica Helms, the designer of the transgender pride flag, donated the original flag to the Smithsonian. Along with the flag, there were other transgender artifacts donated, including some from Mara Keisling. These items included DNC delegate buttons designed by Babs Siperstein.

Helms in about the representation of trans history in museums: “It’s non-existent. We have been marginalized. People don’t realize that we’ve existed. We’ve existed all along.”

Helms also says the colors light blue symbolized baby boys, pink for girls and white for “people who are still questioning what gender they do have.”

On Monica’s Facebook page, she posted this story behind the flag and the honor of donating it:

“Well, today is the day. For about a year now, I have been speaking to the Smithsonian National Museum on me donating the first Transgender Pride Flag and today is when it happens. I created the flag on August 19, 1999 and I’m giving it to the Smithsonian on August 19, 2014.

In 1999, I was told by Michael Page, the man who created the Bisexual Pride Flag, that the trans community needed their own flag. He said that it needed to be simple. “The less stitches, the cheaper it is to make, the cheaper it is to sell. People won’t buy it if it’s too expensive.”

I thought it over and one day, the design came to me. I contacted the same company Michael Page used, Freedom Flag and Banner, and they sent me some swatches. I told them the colors and a week later, and I had the flag.

if people want to reject it, they could. I flew my flag every place I could. It was my flag and I embraced it. But, a funny thing happened. So did other people. They saw me carrying it in Pride parades, protest marches and trans conferences. It became popular, first around the country and now in many countries around the world.

This honor today is not just mine. It belongs to the entire trans community. If it hadn’t been embraced like it has been, I wouldn’t be here today. I am so humble to represent the trans community at the Smithsonian ceremony today. The flag belongs to all of you. I’ve only been it’s caretaker for all these years. If this is your flag, then celebrate. I will be celebrating with you. Thank you for being who you are. I love you all.”


monica helms

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Categories: Transgender, Transsexual, Trans

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