Pink and Blue phenomenon


Have the words Pink and Blue that mean sexual orientation come from the phenomenon that girls choose pink color and boys choose blue color? Which is all absolutely wrong in fact, considering that pink is a stronger color than blue.

I'm just curious to know the etymology of the words Pink and Blue when speaking of sexual orientation.

  • Pink Girl = Lesbian
  • Blue Boy = Homosexual

I sometimes (don't ask how) come across terms like pink chats, pink tourism, pink bedrooms and pink couples. And this also goes with blue.


Posted 2017-03-14T14:35:52.873

Reputation: 23 612

5Can you give us some context for where you found this? To this US English speaker, pink and blue are associated with being male or female, but have nothing to do with homosexuality. – stangdon – 2017-03-14T14:46:13.477

2Do you have any references to back this up? The only thing I can thing of where pink is used to denote sexual orientation is in the expression pink pound (referred to as the Dorothy Dollar in the US), which was originally used to refer to the spending power of gay men, but is not used about the LGBT community as a whole. – JavaLatte – 2017-03-14T14:46:36.297

2I have never heard those terms used to describe lesbians or homosexuals. Perhaps it is cultural where you are, but I only know about the North American thing about choosing pink colours for girls and blue for boys -- usually infants through five or six. I remember a co-teacher being surprised when a boy from another culture wore pink. "Real boys can wear pink!" ;) – WRX – 2017-03-14T14:47:27.117

I might be mislead by Google and other search engines. But have a look yourself. I sometimes stumble upon pink chat-rooms and pink couples and pink toys, which are adult sexual toys for lesbians. – SovereignSun – 2017-03-14T14:52:51.080

@SovereignSun - You mean the chatroom and toys and such are literally pink in color, or they're labeled "Pink" in some way? – stangdon – 2017-03-14T14:56:15.153

1As I mentioned earlier, pink has become a generic label for LGBT. Pink tourism: "Its niche tourism market – pink tourism – is dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) travellers."-, Pink Bedrooms: "© Pink Bookings 2010 - 2016
Paris gay accommodation travel guide, hotel alternatives France". But can you find any blues?
– JavaLatte – 2017-03-14T15:56:58.540



You have the colors backwards. Also I’ve never heard of a lot of the collocations you’re mentioning (eg “pink chats”).

During WWII, the Nazis used a pink triangle to label gay men (and also bisexual men and transgender women). According to Wikipedia, “[i]n the 1970s, [the pink triangle] was revived as a symbol of protest against homophobia, and has since been adopted by the larger LGBT community as a popular symbol of LGBT pride and the LGBT rights movement.” This matches up nicely with the date of first attestation the OED has for “pink” meaning a homosexual man (1972).

In the English speaking world, pink is the color for girls and blue is the color for boys. Or at least that’s how it’s been since WWII (coincidentally). Blue is used to refer to things related to lesbians (albeit rarely) because it is seen as the opposite of the pink associated with gay men. See here.


Posted 2017-03-14T14:35:52.873

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