Flagging (hanky code): A discreet system used within the queer community (mostly gay cis men) to signal sexual or romantic interests. It works by placing a colored bandana in either the left or right back pocket of one’s pants. Different colors and placements mean different things. For example: the left pocket means you’re a top, the right pocket means you’re a bottom, around the neck means you’re a switch.

Depending on the version of the flagging code, the system can be problematic if certain colors are said to indicate racial preferences/racial fetishization.

Lesbian Key Codes: Some lesbians will wear keychains hanging from their pockets to signal whether they are a top or bottom, placements correspond with the flagging system. Note: femmes (feminine lesbians who prefer other feminine lesbians) will sometimes use manicures to signal their sexual preferences by painting one of their fingers a different color.

Ace ring: A black ring worn on the middle finger of the right hand to show that someone is a part of the Asexual community. This shows someone’s identity along with solidarity for others in the community.










Thank you to our intern Hannah C. for this Tuesday Terms post!

My name is Hannah (they/them), I’m a psychology major at the University of Vermont with an interest in how sexual expression engages with societal norms, specifically through existing power structures, such as gender and race.