It's coming up to international Trans Pride Flag Day - the day that marks the occasion when Trans pioneer Monica Helms designed and made the very first flag and symbol for the Trans community - that had its roots across the LGBTQIA family.
We caught up with Monica to discuss this important milestone in our queer history.
What made you want to design the Trans Pride Flag?
I was having dinner with Mike Page, the man who designed the Bisexual Pride Flag.
He said to me that the Trans community should have their own flag.
We talked about it but nothing came to me.
He also said, "The important thing to remember is to keep it simple.
"The least amount of stitches makes it cheaper to make and cheaper to sell."
This was before flags were silk-screened. A couple of weeks later, I woke up one morning and while I lay in bed, the image came to me. I got up and drew out the design on paper.
So how did your concept progress to a physical representation of the Trans colours?
I liked what I saw, so I contacted the same company that made the Bi Flag and they sent me some swatches. I picked out the colors and a week later, I had the first Transsexual Pride Flag.
What would young young trans people like to hear from a pioneer such as yourself?
I think that the youth are very inquisitive about a movement that they grew into and started long before they were born.
They want to know who came before them and opened the doors so they could be themselves at a much younger age then many of us older people could.
I find that they like hearing how the Trans Flag came about and all the efforts people put into to make it as popular as it is today.
The flag they wear as a cape at Pride has a long history of where it's been and how it got there.
View this post on Instagram
Our @SteveMNapier_ hanging with the FAAABULOUSLY talented creator of the #transgenderprideflag Monica F Helms. Check out the incredible read "More than just a flag" - was fun hanging with you Monica! Happy Pride! #worldpride50 #instagay #lgbtqia #lgbt #transpride #wearefamily #gaytravel #openingceremony #newyorkcity #guidetogay
So what has been the impact of your designs on Pride celebrations globally?
It was 2013 when I looked at Pride photos around the world when I noticed that the Trans Flag and the Trans colors where popping up in many places. I was amazed at its popularity.
Then I realized that I had the original and I became scared of its safety.
I decided that I needed to find a place where it would remain safe from harm and that people could see it, knowing it's the first one.
I decided to start at the top, so I contacted the Smithsonian in Washington DC and just so happen they were starting to collect LGBTQ related items.
The first Trans Flag was perfect.
The Smithsonian doesn't just take donations like a thrift store. They want to know everything about the item and the person who is donating it.
So how did your life history effect the acceptance of the Trans flag?
When they learned about my Navy history, they decided the flag should be stored with other military-related flags.
After all the time spent communicating with the Smithsonian, I finally donated it to them on August 19, 2014. 15 years to the day when I created it.
In 2016, the original Trans Flag was displayed in the White House for President Obama's last LGBTQ day for his time in office.
Thats incredible Monica - thank you so much for spending this time with Guidetogay.com - you have a book detailing the journey and history of this iconic symbol - where can people get it?
It is called, "More Than Just a Flag" because I felt that I have done many things in my life other than creating the Flag. I wanted people to see that the person who created the Trans Flag has done many more things for the Trans community over the years and that creating the Trans Flag was just a small part of it. It can be found on More Than Just A Flag
Guidetogay.com is the leading travel, news and social network for the LGBTQI community. Join us on social media.