As a gay person who reads the Bible, the symbolism of being represented by a rainbow strikes hard.
A few decades ago, the image of a rainbow was appropriated to represent diversity (whether of race, sexual orientation or whatever), which was a good thing. However, this is not what the rainbow used to mean in western culture. According to the story in Genesis, God invented rain as a way to destroy the earth and all its excessively sinful people in a universal flood. He then invented a rainbow to remind himself never to do that again. Based on this, a rainbow came to represent strong, but conflicting, ideas: Judgement and hope; condemnation and forgiveness; destruction and new beginnings.
In other words, it is the perfect visual metaphor for the whole experience of coming out of the closet and living out in today's world.
I am also a Christian, and the symbolism of being represented by a rainbow cross strikes doubly hard.
Because the cross also represents conflicting ideas: Mankind's bigotry, hatred, and condemnation of one another, versus God's acceptance, love, and forgiveness for all. A perfect visual metaphor for the conflict Christians face coming out of the closet.
I am gay and Christian. I sometimes casually say “gay Christian”, but that makes “gay” an adjective, as if it is a chosen extra thing, not a part of who you are. Reversing it to “Christian lesbian” likewise reduces your faith to an optional extra. My sexual orientation and gender identity are an innate part of my body, mind, and emotions. My faith is an intrinsic part of my spirit.
When you come out as gay and Christian, people want you to take sides, choosing either the rainbow or the cross, not both. Christian friends want you to “get delivered” from homosexuality. LGBT friends want you to renounce the religious institutions that cause our community so much grief. But this assumes there are divisible sides to choose between, when the reality it is like your heart: There is both a left and right side to your heart, but can you live healthily with just one of them? For those gay and Christian, it's not a rainbow and a cross, just a rainbow cross.
The rainbow cross is also used as a logo by homophobic church based “ex-gay” ministries. Some object, but I find it both ironic and