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    22nd Annual Pink Triangle to Be Created Atop Twin Peaks

    By Patrick Carney

    A huge Pink Triangle, which is one-acre in size, is being installed for its 22nd time as a reminder that history repeats.

    We again are in a situation where being Homosexual, Bi or Trans not only can get one arrested, but also locked-up, tortured, and even killed. For that reason, we need to remember horrific events, and yes, even remember repulsive symbols like the Pink Triangle. Sometimes the best way to keep a symbol pertinent is to “own” it, and to give it a new purpose.

    This Nazi symbol of hate and persecution has been usurped, and is now a symbol of survival, defiance, courage, strength, and diversity. The timing of this year’s Pink Triangle with the 50th anniversary of San Francisco’s “Summer of Love” is perfect! We, however, have to recognize that in many places in the world, conditions for the LGBTQ community are anything but perfect. Here are some examples:

    Chechnya

    Internment camps for gays have been established for the first time since WWII. Meanwhile, the president of Chechnya claims gay people don’t even exist in his state. At least one hundred have been locked up, and 26 have reportedly died during the horrifying purge of gays. The leader’s goal is “the complete cleansing of Chechnya from men of non-traditional sexual orientation.” As such, there are only 3 options for gays in Chechnya:

    1.They can leave the country.

    1. They can kill themselves.
    2. They can be killed.

    Chechnya authorities have said: “Kill your gay sons—or we will.”

    Indonesia

    A gay couple was arrested and caned after vigilantes, who were spying on them, broke into the house where the couple were staying and caught them engaging in consensual private sexual relations. Hundreds of people showed up to watch and jeer as the two gays were flogged for breaking Sharia rules.

    Brazil

    Men savagely beat a Trans woman to death while she begged for her life as the cameras rolled. Although Brazil legalized same-sex marriage in 2013 and has the world’s largest Pride celebration, such violent acts are not rare. In 2016, statistics showed one LGBTQ person was killed every 25 hours in Brazil.

    Isis-controlled Areas

    The Islamic State (ISIS) has publicly executed men accused of homosexuality in both Iraq and Syria by throwing them off tall buildings or by burning them alive or stoning them to death. Men have been blindfolded and dropped head first from tall buildings in front of large crowds, including children. The accused are often shot if they survive the fall.

    Iran

    Former President Ahmadinejad famously stated, “We don’t have homosexuals in Iran.” Yet Iran has publically hanged gays in public squares, as has been illustrated by heartbreaking images spread around the world of two terrified teenagers who were executed by hanging.

    Iraq

    The power vacuum after the war has emboldened conservatives who are not only rolling back gains previously made by LGBTs, but they are also allowing, and some say perpetrating, heinous crimes against them. The killers aren’t just executing their gay victims; they are “mutilating their bodies and torturing them.”

    Russia

    President Vladimir Putin signed a bill making the “promotion of homosexuality” a crime punishable with fines and jail terms. The law spawned even more violence toward LGBTQs there. And the president signed a gay adoption ban, but Putin claims “there is no discrimination” in Russia. Also, the Pride Parade has been banned by law for 100 years!

    Africa

    There are 34 African nations, including Uganda and Malawi, which criminalize homosexuality. In four of those—Mauritania, northern Nigeria, southern Somalia and Sudan—the punishment is death. 

    Those are just a few examples. There are 76 nations where same-sex relations are illegal. Eight of the countries impose the death penalty for homosexual activity, including those listed above plus Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Iran. My own husband had to flee his native Iran in order to survive as an “out-gay man.”

    Examples like this are why the Twin Peaks Pink Triangle is still going strong after all of these decades—because education is the key for positive change. The Pink Triangle will soon be installed for its 22nd time atop Twin Peaks to inform people of the hatred of the past to help prevent it from happening again, and to illustrate that we aren’t “out of the woods” yet regarding hatred and violence—as Chechnya, Indonesia and many other places so vividly illustrate.

    You can help to make the 22nd annual Pink Triangle a reality.

    When:

    Installation: Saturday, June 24, from 7 am–10 am, with the ceremony starting at 10:30 am

    De-Installation: Sunday, June 25, from 4:30 pm–8 pm (after the parade)

    This is the day with the fewest volunteers and it is therefore the hardest day. Please remember: “Many hands make light work.”

    Even just an hour of help is great, either or both days!

    Where: Top of Twin Peaks, San Francisco, CA

    Info: www.thepinktriangle.com

    Patrick Carney is the founder of The Friends of the Pink Triangle.