Yesterday, the Pink Triangle was unfurled on the east side of the Twin Peaks Lookout. On a clear day, like today, the Triangle boasts a visibility of 20 miles.
Living on the San Francisco Peninsula for decades, I was of course aware of the Pride Parade, but not until I moved to San Francisco, to my roost east of Twin Peaks and overlooking the Castro, did I learn of the Triangle. During my first Pride Weekend living in the City, I took one of my usual walks in the neighborhood, heading uphill toward Twin Peaks, and halfway there, was astounded to see the large pink triangle embracing the hillside.
For me, the triangle has long represented female power. And that’s how I saw that pink triangle that first morning: a symbol of the lesbian community, of the power and force of women – a symbol of women’s struggle for acceptance, identity and acknowledgement in both the straight and “gay” community. Although LGBT is more often used these days (particularly in San Francisco), gay is still the standard and gay doesn’t really include women. And truly, if you look around the Castro – the gay mecca – you see men dominate the area. Women are scarce in the gay mecca.
But the pink triangle also harkens back to the abysmal time when the Nazis torched Europe, defiling, vilifying, torturing so many. In their sadistic penchant for labeling, the Nazis forced gays and lesbians to sew a pink triangle on their clothing as a sign of oppression. Now, every Pride Weekend, the pink triangle is a loud and visible memorial for the gays and lesbians who suffered in Hitler’s concentration camps. But the triangle makes another statement as well: there is pride in being gay, in being lesbian; and all of us have a right to an identity of our own, a community of our own – and here, now, in this time, the gay and lesbian community and its family, its supporters, are strong and will fight for the right to be treated fairly, equally, under the law.
The parade has begun. At the far end of Market Street I see splashes of gold, as the sunlight sparkles on the brass instruments of marching bands, on the gleaming chrome bumpers of well-polished cars and trucks, on the bits of shiny foil flags and ribbons. But when I leave my roost in a bit, I won’t head east and down the hill to the parade, I’ll head west and upward, toward the Pink Triangle.
(Note: the picture of the pink triangle was "stolen" from the Internet via google images. The other pics are mine. Click on the pics to enlarge for a better view.)