What (if anything) do you celebrate on February 14th? For some the day is just another corporate-driven excuse to spend money; as the credit card bills from last year’s Holiday season are coming due. There are many queer folk who tune it out as a very hetero event; far too similar to legal weddings that, for so long, has been denied us. Another reminder of our fight for respect and equality. Such feelings were no doubt part of the reasoning behind the 1979 declaration of February 14th as Pink Triangle Day by the membership of the Canadian Lesbian & Gay Rights Coalition.
“We realize that this date, February 14th, 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.
“We therefore proclaim February 14th as an annual Canadian Gay Holiday, to be known as “PINK TRIANGLE DAY.“
Read the complete text of the Resolution passed at the annual meeting of Canadian Lesbian & Gay Rights Coalition, July 1979. Preserved on a website maintained by Sister Atrociata vonTasteless, OPI
Although still not an official holiday, some of us continue to celebrate the holiday, and the sentiments behind it. Whether you focus on challenging the “heterosexual dictatorship” or celebrating and honouring the love in your life, February 14th does not have to only be known as Valentine’s Day.
Each year I create a new design to mark the occasion. The 2020 design is available on t-shirts & mugs from my print-on-demand shop at GearBubble– just in time for year-end gift giving. Declared in July of 1979, the first Annual Pink Triangle Day was observed in February of 1980. That means that 2020 will be the 41st annual Pink Triangle Day.
Last year’s design (see below) was more complex to honour the 40th annual celebration. 41 is a prime number that doesn’t have special symbolism for most folks, so this year’s design focuses on the year; the larger 2020 is also a nod to our southern neighbours. This design is offered on 11 shirt styles- from tanktops to long-sleeve tees to warm hoodie- and each is available on a range of 6 colours.
2019 was the 40th annual PTD and my design was more complex than previous years. It included one large pink triangle consisting of 36 smaller triangles point-to-point with a smaller triangle made of 4 even smaller triangles. That design, along with a partial selection of previous annual designs is shown below: