Jun 28, 2022 - News

The meaning behind the LGBT flag at Krause Gateway Center

The LGBT flag outside Krause Gateway Center

The LGBT Pride flag outside Krause Gateway Center. Photo: Linh Ta/Axios

If you drive around downtown Des Moines, you'll see a rainbow flag hanging high above Krause Gateway Center in recognition of Pride Month.

Yes, but: If you take a closer look at it, there are more than the traditional rainbow colors, which represent the spectrum of the LGBTQ+ community.

What it means: The circle within the yellow triangle represents people who are intersex.

Intersex is an umbrella term used for a person born with anatomy or traits that don't fit the traditional "female" or "male" boxes, according to the Intersex Society of North America.

  • There are lots of ways someone can be intersex. You might have a penis that's smaller than the average range or a larger clitoris. A person can have no vaginal opening or labia that are closed, according to Healthline.
  • Not everything is external: An intersex person can be born with chromosomes that are just X or XXY rather than XX or XY.

The bottom line: Intersex characteristics are not physical deformities. Nearly 2% of people in the world are born intersex — about as common as red hair, according to the United Nations.

  • Doctors sometimes try to change the appearance of genitalia to conform to binary standards. Ending non-consensual surgeries on intersex babies and children is a big movement in the intersex community, according to the UN.

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Des Moines.

More Des Moines stories