Pink Triangle Day

In 1979, the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Rights Coalition declared an Annual Gay Holiday to be held every year on February 14th. Although that day was usually commemorated as Valentine's Day, the delegates wanted to take this opportunity to challenge what Christopher Isherwood has called the "heterosexual dictatorship" by affirming for ourselves and for the world, the existence, the strength, and the beauty of gay love.

There's a more substantial history of the declaration here.

Text of the poster

picDesign by ChrisAucoin

Resolution proposed by the Gay Alliance for Equality (later known as the Gay and Lesbian Association of Nova Scotia) and adopted July 1, 1979 by the final plenary of the 7th annual Conference for Lesbians and Gay Men, Canadian Lesbian & Gay Rights Coalition, Ottawa

We recognize the importance of making known our history, so much of which has been lost or stolen, and particularly of commemorating the victories of lesbians and gay men. Given the historic importance of the acquittal of the officers of Pink Triangle Press as the first major legal victory for the Canadian gay movement, and given the fortuitous date of that victory, we propose a yearly celebration to mark the day. We realize that this date, February 14, has traditionally been celebrated as St Valentine's Day and dedicated to the expression of heterosexual affection. We take this opportunity to challenge what Christopher Isherwood has called the 'heterosexual dictatorship' by affirming, for ourselves and for the world, the existence, the strength, and the beauty of gay love. A central symbol of St. Valentine's Day has been the figure of Cupid, derived from the ancient Greek Eros. We intend to make this day a celebration of the liberation of Eros, both as a reality in our personal lives since coming out, and as a common political goal to be achieved. We therefore proclaim February 14 as an annual Canadian gay holiday to be known as Pink Triangle Day.
- Resolution drafted and presented on behalf of GAE by RobinMetcalfe

The Triangles

Tens of thousands of lesbian and gay people were 'exterminated' by the Third Reich. A pink triangle (on "homosexual" men) and a black triangle (on "anti-social" women - which included lesbians) were used by the Nazis to identify, and persecute, people because of their sexual orientation; just as a yellow star (two triangles - one inverted) was used to identify Jews. Today the black and pink triangles have been reclaimed by lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as symbols of pride and the struggle to overcome oppression, discrimination and prejudice.

History Of Pink Triangle Day

picMetcalfe, 2008 RobinMetcalfe has presented a richly illustrated lecture about the pink triangle symbol and a century of history that led up to the creation of Pink Triangle Day.

The talk begins with an overview of gay culture in Germany in the early 1900s and the use of the symbol by the Nazis during the Holocaust, and extensively covers the history of gay rights in Canada and the movement in Halifax. Specific major topics: the Canadian lgbt community magazine The Body Politic and its provocative article, Men Loving Boys Loving Men, Gay Alliance for Equality, the protests against the CBC over their refusal to carry GayLine public sevice announcements, with images from the various incarnations of the NSCADQueerCollective and Dalhousie Gazette. The slides include many images by BobErtel.

The talk concludes with the history of the poster depicted above, designed by ChrisAucoin and sponsored by several groups including GALA, PlannedParenthood, HumansAgainstHomophobia, NSPIRG and DalWomensCentre.

Click the image below for the 45-minute video (mp4 H.264) of that talk given on February 12, 2013 presented by NSRAP and WayvesMagazine.

picXtra! JonnyWacker Valentine

Pink Triangle Day Video

Here's a 2015 CTV Morning Live interview with RobinMetcalfe the day before Pink Triangle Day 2015:

Pink Triangle Day Interview