The memoirs of Gilbert Baker, creator of the iconic Pride flag, were just released, and it turns out there’s a reason beyond just being super queer that trippy, rainbow colors are our go-to for self expression.
According to his book Rainbow Warrior: My Life in Color, which was published after his death, the flag was inspired by dancing in a San Francisco nightclub under the influence.
“We rode the mirrored ball on glittering LSD and love power,” he wrote. “Dance fused us, magical and cleansing. We were all in a swirl of color and light. It was like a rainbow.”
At that moment, he knew exactly what kind of flag he wanted to create. However, the trip alone wasn’t the only inspiration for the flag. He was on the lookout for a colorful symbol in 1978 because Harvey Milk and other activists were calling for a more joyful icon than the iconic but somewhat static pink triangle.
Baker lived to see his symbol live beyond one night of partying to become the new, iconic battle cry for the queer community.