Gilbert Baker è diventato un'icona dei diritti gay dopo aver realizzato nel 1978 la bandiera arcobaleno, diventata da subito simbolo dei movimenti LGBT in tutto il mondo.
Baker says the rainbow was an obvious choice for him. "Until we had a flag, the symbol for our movement was the pink triangle, which was put on us by Hitler and the Nazis," Baker says. "The triangle came from a very negative, terrible place. We needed something that expressed our beauty, our soul, our love -- that came from us and wasn't put on us."
"He came up with the idea of flag," says Cleve Jones, a longtime gay rights activist and Baker's roommate at the time. Jones remembers it as a very DIY affair. "There was a gay community center at 330 Grove Street, now long gone. We did it all by hand with big garbage barrels of dye to color the fabric and then we dragged it out onto the roof to dry."
They made two flags that day -- the rainbow flag and an American flag with rainbow stripes instead of red, white and blue -- and hung them in San Francisco's U.N. Plaza for a pride parade on June 25, 1978.