Different events have already been taking place this first week of June to celebrate the beginning of LGBT Pride Month, but none as serendipitous as seeing the sky light up with rainbow clouds. Several people on social media have taken the natural phenomenon to be a symbol of Pride. As photographer Jayson Garcia captioned his photos of the moment, it was as if the clouds were celebrating Pride Month themselves.
The rainbow clouds are actually a ‘colorful optical phenomenon’ which occurs in a cloud. Its specific term is “cloud iridescence” and true iridescent clouds are pretty rare. They are caused by tiny ice crystals or water droplets in the air, as they bring about light diffraction.
However, these rainbow clouds may very well just be a similar-looking phenomenon. It might be a kind of halo, or a colored arc, or even a rainbow mingling with the clouds. You can supposedly tell if it is an iridescent cloud by the random distribution of colors and if the sun is nearby.
Regardless of what the rainbow clouds factually are, they remain a nice symbolic reminder of what this month means to the LGBT community. A commemoration of the 1969 Stonewall riots, Pride Month is the ‘positive stance’ against various forms of discrimination inflicted on the LGBT community. It’s a celebration of identity and acceptance.
Did you catch this rainbow cloud, too? Share your photos with us in the comments!