LGBTQ+ History Month: The Pink Triangle

The pink triangle has been a symbol for various LGBT identities, initially intended as a badge of shame, but later reclaimed as a positive symbol of self-identity.

It began as one of the Nazi concentration camp badges, distinguishing those imprisoned because they had been identified by authorities as homosexual men, a category that also included bisexual men and transgender women. In Nazi concentration camps, each prisoner was required to wear a downward-pointing, equilateral triangular cloth badge on their chest, the color of which identified the reason for their imprisonment. The pink triangle was established for prisoners identified as homosexual men, which also included bisexual men and transgender women. If a prisoner was also identified as Jewish, the triangle was superimposed over a yellow second triangle pointing the opposite way, to resemble the Star of David like the yellow badge identifying other Jews. Prisoners wearing a pink triangle were harshly treated, even by other prisoners.

After the camps were liberated at the end of the Second World War, many of the prisoners imprisoned for homosexuality were re-incarcerated by the Allied-established Federal Republic of Germany. The Nazi amendments to Paragraph 175 turned homosexuality from a minor offense into a felony, remaining intact in East Germany until 1968 and in West Germany until 1969. West Germany continued to imprison those identified as homosexual until 1994 under a revised version of the Paragraph, which still made sexual relations between men up to the age of 21 illegal. In 2002 the German government issued an official apology to the LGBT community.

In the 1970s, the pink triangle was revived as a symbol of protest against homophobia. Publications promoted the pink triangle as a memorial to those who had been persecuted.

In the 1980s, the pink triangle was increasingly used not just as a memorial but as a positive symbol of both self and community identity. It commonly represented both gay and lesbian identity, and was incorporated into the logos of such organizations and businesses. It was also used by individuals, sometimes discretely or ambiguously as an “insider” code unfamiliar to the general public. The logo for the 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights was a silhouette of the US Capitol Dome superimposed over a pink triangle.

Taking a more militant tone, the AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power (ACT UP) adopted an upward-pointing pink triangle on a black field along with the slogan “SILENCE = DEATH” as its logo. This organization was formed to draw attention to the disease’s disproportionate impact on gay and bisexual men, and the apparent role of “genocidal” homophobia in slowing progress on medical research. Some use the triangle in this orientation as a specific “reversal” of its usage by the Nazis.

The Pink Panthers Movement in Denver, Colorado adopted a pink triangle with clawed panther print logo, adapted from the original Pink Panthers Patrol in New York City.

In the 1990s, a pink triangle enclosed in a green circle came to be commonly used as a symbol identifying “safe spaces” for LGBT people at work or in school.

The pink triangle served as the basis for the “biangles”, a symbol of bisexual identity which consists of pink and blue triangles overlapping in a lavender or purple area. The pink and blue symbolize either homosexuality and heterosexuality, or female and male gender, reflecting bisexuals’ attraction to both.

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LGBTQ+ History Month: Mona’s 440 Club

Mona’s 440 Club was the first lesbian bar to open in San Francisco, California in 1936. It continued to draw a lesbian clientele into the 1950s. Mona’s and the gay bars of that era were an important part of the history of LGBT culture in San Francisco.

Mona and Jimmie Sargeant opened Mona’s in 1936, taking advantage of San Francisco’s liberal attitude, endless supply of tourists, and the end of prohibition. It was modeled after other successful female impersonation or drag clubs like Finnochio’s and originally opened in a basement in the North Beach District of San Francisco. The bar was the first openly lesbian club that was geared towards the local gay community as opposed to gay tourists. Mona’s marketed itself as a place “where girls can be boys” and featured female wait staff and entertainers dressed in tuxedos.

Due to its popularity and growth in patronage, the bar moved to 440 Broadway Street in North Beach and was subsequently renamed Mona’s 440 Club. The new space quickly became popular with both straight and gay patrons, including straight women looking to relax and unwind and tourists looking for a show. Mona’s 440 Club was considered to be a part of the San Francisco Sex tourism culture, however the bar stuck to cross dressing in order to remain lawful.

In 1941, Mona relinquished control of the club to new manager, Babe Scott. Babe Scott was known as “the woman who plays baseball like a veteran.” Scott’s legacy was the performers she brought to the club. Once Mona sold the club, entertainer Ann Dee, Angela DeSpirito, took over Mona’s 440 Club in the mid 1950s and completely changed the direction of the club- starting with a new name, Ann’s 440 Club. While the club still employed lesbian waitstaff and had lesbian clientele, its main focus was no longer on the queer culture and woman empowerment, but more focused on entertainment. Ann Dee wanted a place to be able to showcase her talents when she so desired and booked performers that fit her preferences. While under Ann Dee’s ownership, the club gave Johnny Mathis his start.

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LGBTQ+ History Month: Dora “Dörchen” Richter

Dora “Dörchen” Richter was the first known person to undergo complete male-to-female gender reassignment surgery. Richter was born in 1891, named Rudolph, and raised as male. Using the name Dora, she began wearing women’s clothing and presenting as female to the extent she could, working under her birth name during the summer, then living as female the remainder of the year. She was arrested Multiple times for cross-dressing, and served time in prison before being released into the care of sex-research pioneer Magnus Hirschfeld at Berlin’s Institute for Sexual Research.

With special permission from the police to wear women’s clothing, Richter worked with other transgender people as a domestic servant at the Institute, where she was affectionately known as Dörchen.

She underwent her first surgery In 1922 and her second in June 1931, and was the first transgender woman to undergo such surgery of whom records remain.

In May 1933, a mob attacked the Institute, and burned its records. No later information about Richter has been found.

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Nineteen

Happy 19th Wedding Anniversary Jeffrey.

You’re my real life superhero!

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LGBTQ+ History Month: The Society for Human Rights

society for humn rights.jpg

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October: LGBTQ+ History Month

Time to remind and educate ourselves and others about the past before it becomes our future.

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Goodnight my Angel

I’ll rub your tummy

And hold your paw

Pet your ears

And hold you close

And while you sleep

I’ll keep you safe

While you dream

Your sweet puppy dreams

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Things that Comfort me

In no particular order:

Cookies

Cosmopolitans

Red Wine

Cocoa

Cuddling

Dogs

Buffy (the series)

Friends (the TV Show)

Friends (the real ones)

Summer Breezes

Car rides

Coloring

Comic Books

Laughing

Crying

Napping

Fires in the fireplace

Campfires

Organizing

Going Away

Coming Home

Hugs

Floating in water

Hot showers

Early mornings

Friday afternoons

Provincetown

Nudity

Decorative lights or candles

Inspirational Quotes

Thoughtful acts

Holding a hand

Helping someone

Bring remembered

Being complimented

Giraffes

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Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

I need to have a second heart implanted… the one I have just isn’t big enough to hold all the love I have for these two.

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Suck my (Bat) dick, America!

The above panel, from the recently released 1st issue of a new “Mature Themed” 4-Issue Batman Comic Book Series, is the latest hot button item that has America’s collective panties in a knot.

Sure, we’ll ignore all the $&@!?#* going on in our world to a point, but show the faint outline of Batman’s penis in a comic marketed to adults and you have crossed a line, America. There are some things we JUST wont stand for (aside from institutionalized racism; kidnapping, imprisoning, and slaughtering of children; Dehumanizing people of color, women, differently abled, immigrants, lgbt people, people with different beliefs; ignoring the needs of our vets, the elderly, the homeless and the sick; corroding our environment; degrading our civil liberties; demonizing education, knowledge, science and fact based information; etc. etc.)

Its heartwarming what we Americans reserve our outrage for. Now, please excuse me while I whittle me a new “war on christmas” stick so I can beat the inclusion out of those damn “Happy Holiday” folks that will be popping up soon (while wearing my flaming Nike’s with a mouth full of Chic-fil-a, of course!)

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