Pink Triangle

This has no particular current relevance.
Last year I was at the holocaust museum in DC. I found an interesting origin of a common symbol in our culture, the pink triangle. Perhaps this is something that I should have known and I am just woefully ignorant of our history. But in case others are as unaware as I, here is the history of the pink triangle, not a happy one. In addition to the well-known yellow Star of David which Jewish persons were forced to wear under the Nazi regime, there were many other badges to force all unwanted groups to be visually identified.
For example red triangles were political prisoners including liberals, communists, trade unionists, among others. Purple triangles: Jehovah Witnesses. Black Triangles:”Anti-social elements” included mentally ill, Alcoholics, Pacifists, Prostitutes, Lesbians(!)
This system of badges had various combinations and notations
The pink triangle was forced on homosexual males sent to concentration camps because of their homosexuality. Every prisoner had to wear a downward-pointing triangle on his or her jacket. These men were treated with extreme cruelty by the Nazis and by other prisoners. They led an extremely grueling existence.
The downward-pointing pink triangle was originally intended as a badge of shame, the pink triangle now inverted from its Nazi usage has been reclaimed as an international symbol of gay pride and the gay rights.



  1. jeanmarie says:

    I was surprised to learn how many LGBT do not know this. Sometime in the 90’s the pink triangle was surpassed in general use by the more widely used “Gay Friendy” inclusive rainbow. But I still claim my Pink Triangle with Pride and I see that Ptownwest still honors the pink triangle in their logo! I am what I am- Pink!