Last update:
May 25th
2000

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Awareness Ribbon and Variations
red ribbon The AIDS Awareness Ribbon, or red ribbon, is commonly seen adorning jacket lapels and other articles of clothing as a symbol of solidarity and a commitment to the fight against AIDS. The Ribbon Project was conceived in 1991 by Visual AIDS, a New York-based charity group of art professionals and created by singer/songwriter Paul Jabara. Hundreds of thousands of people have died of AIDS since it was first identified in 1981. People living with AIDS have met with discrimination and ignorance. The Red Ribbon is a symbol of compassion and awareness. It is worn in remembrance of the many who died and in support of those living under the burden of the disease.
Worn by host Jeremy Irons, the ribbon made its public debut at the 1991 Tony Awards, and soon became a popular and politically correct fashion statement for celebrities and other awards ceremonies. Because of this popularity, some activists worry that the ribbon has become simple lip service to AIDS causes; in one particular incident, the First Lady Barbara Bush wore a red ribbon while sitting in the audience with her husband, but when she stood at the President's side during his speech, her ribbon was conspicuously missing.
yellow ribbon The Red Ribbon was inspired by the yellow ribbons honoring American soldiers of the Persian Gulf War, and the color red was chosen for its "connection to blood and the idea of of passion -- not anger, but love, like a valentine," as stated by Frank Moore of Visual AIDS.
pink ribbon The Pink Ribbon: Each year thousands of women die of breast cancer. According to one report, Lesbians are more likely than heterosexual women to be diagnosed with breast cancer because they tend to smoke and drink more and are less likely to have children. The pink ribbon is worn to raise awareness about the devastating number of women that breast cancer effects and to encourage support toward finding a cure.
green ribbon Additionally, the politically-correct nature of our society seems to have spawned even more ribbon variations. Green ribbons are worn by environmental activists, particularly those in the entertainment industry concerned about the use of tropical plywood in movie sets.
purple ribbon Purple ribbons signify the toll of urban violence.
blue ribbon Blue ribbons promote awareness of crime victims' rights. Recently, blue ribbons have also been adopted by the campaign against Internet censorship. Many people believe that the internet is the true frontier of the right of free speech, and defend that belief vigorously. At first, web page authors started making the backgrounds of their sites all black in protest of such censorship. Since then, the blue ribbon has been adopted as the universal online symbol for freedom of speech. A good many sites carry this symbol nowadays.
lavender ribbon The Lavender Ribbon: Hundreds of lesbian mothers and gay fathers are denied custody and/or visitation of their children each year. The lavender ribbon is worn to raise people's awareness of these tragic injustices. With all these ribbon variations, it is important to realize that no one cause is trying to take attention away from the others; in one way or another, all are equally important to humanity.
white ribbon The White Ribbon promote awareness about Gay-Teen Suicide. The color white was chosen to represent clarity of thought and innocence of youth.
The Gay-Teen Suicide Awareness campaign was started by Xavier Neptus, a personal survivor of attempted teen suicide himself. He was inspired to create this campaign after hearing Jason Bolton, a young man who was thrown out of a suburban Detroit high school for being gay, speak about gay youth suicide at the 1997 Lansing, Michigan Pride March.
Its aim is to raise awareness about the epidemic of gay-teen suicide. It is estimated that a teen in the United States takes his or her own life every 5 hours because he or she is gay, bisexual, transgender, or lesbian, and cannot deal with the added stresses that society puts upon them. We as a society MUST figure out what it is we are doing to drive these poor teens to such drastic measures, so we can stop this tragedy from happening again. We may only have less than 5 hours to do so.


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