Monica Helms, transgender activist and U.S. submarine veteran, designed the first transgender pride flag in 1999. She was inspired to create the flag for her community after talking with Michael Page, the bisexual flag designer (via Military.com). While talking with the Modern Military Association of America, Helms said Page told her to keep her flag design just because it was cheaper to make and sell if she didn’t have to do so much sewing. Helms remembered when she found out what the flag would look like. She noted: “Two weeks later I woke up and the drawing came to me as I was lying in bed. I got up and drew it and I liked what I have seen.
In 2000, Helm’s creation debuted at the Pride Parade in Phoenix, Arizona. The pink and blue stripes of the flag represent the colors usually associated with girls and boys. Additionally, the white band between two pink bands represents transitioning, intersex, and anyone without a specified gender. According to Helms, “The pattern is such that no matter how you fly it, it’s always right, which means we find rightness in our lives” (via Facebook). Additionally, during her interview with the MMAA, Helms shared that she was shocked that the flag was seen around the world and brought her joy, and hoped that one day it would make it to the International Space Station.