The pink triangle was used during the Holocaust to mark our people, the LGBTQ community, as we were put in concentration camps. Today I was marked with a pink triangle, on the top of my hand. I chose to have it put on me.

Taken from Wikipedia – Between 1933 and 1945, an estimated 100,000 men were arrested as homosexuals, of whom some 50,000 were officially sentenced.[1] Most of these men served time in regular prisons, and an estimated 5,000 to 15,000 of those sentenced were incarcerated in Nazi concentration camps.[1] It is unclear how many of the 5,000 to 15,000 eventually perished in the camps, but leading scholar Rüdiger Lautmann believes that the death rate of homosexuals in concentration camps may have been as high as 60%. Homosexuals in the camps were treated in an unusually cruel manner by their captors.

The history gets worse when you read that after the war, those who survived were re-arrested for being gay. And unlike other minorities, the persecution has not stopped. From the recent events in Orlando and LA, to the daily killing of gays in the middle east and so much more! As of March 26, 2016 there are 77 countries with anti-gay laws… SEVENTY SEVEN!!!!

This recent Orlando shooting that is now gaining the attention of the world, is not an isolated incident. But I am not writing this article to focus on the negative.  I am writing to tell you that this mark on my hand is a symbol. It’s a pink triangle, and inside is a galaxy in various shades of pink. It is a symbol to all those who have suffered persecution for who they are. It’s a symbol that no person will mark me out of hate, whether it’s mentally, emotionally or physically. It’s a symbol of pride for who I am, a reminder that we are all one, and it’s a symbol to show the world that I am proud of who I am. I will fight for who I am and I will not be shamed.

I have been talking to friends both in the LGBTQ community and outside it, and many are fearful about coming out for Pride, but that won’t stop us. Fear must be faced in order to be overcome. We are the most progressive movement in human history, we get things done. We are still persecuted on a daily basis, but we still love. Most importantly… WE STILL LOVE.

The time has come for us to put aside our differences within our various groupings as a community, and band together. Only together will our voices reach the heavens. Only together will the ground shake beneath our dancing feet. Only together will be build an army that will fight back with LOVE.

We are being attacked for who we love, which means this is a war on love. Guns don’t win wars – people do. Love does. So now my soldiers, ALL OF YOU, trans, leather, ally, dyke… whatever you call yourself…put on your colours. Wave your flag, dance, laugh, stomp your feet, let your voices be heard… AND LOVE!!!

And a special thank you to Trish Synner, who refused to charge me for this tattoo. It was her way of showing her support to me. It only hit me after the tattoo was done, that Trish did not just give me a tattoo. When I looked down and saw this symbol I felt proud and empowered. Trish gave a part of me back to myself. You can get hold of her via FACEBOOK

About the Author

Brandon Michael Lee is a Toronto based Award Winning Event Designer, Writer and Filmmaker. He spends his days surrounded by his two dogs, cupcakes and coffee and one day dreams of having a big fat gay wedding. While on the outside, he is a fabulous and stylish gay man… on the inside he is a tool belt wearing, shelf building, Tori Amos listening lesbian. Oh and he loves beards and tattoos.