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    Volunteers Needed for Pink Triangle of Twin Peaks, Which Will Be Larger Than Ever for 2024

    Patrick Carney
    Photo by Gooch/Courtesy of Patrick Carney

    By Patrick Carney–

    The 29th annual Pink Triangle of Twin Peaks will be here soon and it takes a lot of volunteers to make it happen. Sign up here:

    The Pink Triangle of Twin Peaks is a highly-visible yet mute reminder of inhumanity and recalls one the darkest chapters in human history—the Holocaust. It is nearly an acre in size and can be seen for 20 miles and is a giant in-your-face educational tool. It’s a warning and a reminder of what has happened in the past and might happen again if we aren’t vigilant.

    Commissioner Debra Walker

    Did You Know?

    At the end of the war when the concentration camps were liberated, virtually all of the prisoners were released except those who wore the pink triangle. Many of those with a pink triangle were put back in prison under Paragraph 175 and the nightmare continued.

    Part of appreciating and celebrating any Pride is understanding where we have been, and the Pink Triangle illustrates how bad things can get. The Pink Triangle was originally used to brand homosexuals in Nazi concentration camps. It was brought back in the 1970s as a symbol against homophobia. It was then inverted and used upside down as a protest symbol during the AIDS crisis (Silence=Death).

    The Rainbow Flag replaced it as a rallying symbol starting in 1978, but the Pink Triangle often still showed up as a graphic symbol even after ACT UP, yet without the original historic context so young people often weren’t sure where it came from. Many thought it was just another abstract, colorful symbol to represent the LGBTQ+ community that was used at protest rallies, but were unaware of its tragic origin. That is why the Pink Triangle of Twin Peaks will be back for the 29th time in June. It is always super-sized because there is no room for subtlety during Pride—the message of the Pink Triangle must be passed along.

    The 2024 display will be slightly longer than it has ever been. Why? So even more people might notice it. If it can’t be seen, it isn’t meeting its goal. This is a giant, in-your-face educational tool that is intended to generate curiosity so people driving by on the freeways or bridges will wonder, “What is that and why is it up there?” which might inspire them to hopefully look up the meaning of the Pink Triangle. The 29th Pink Triangle will be made of 175 bright pink canvases outlined by three 5-foot-wide sheets of sailcloth, which are each up to 230 feet long. 

    It is an honor to be allowed to undertake this display in such a prominent location on a mountain in the middle of the city, so we therefore want to improve the site and leave it in better condition than when we started. The first volunteer opportunity is site preparation, which entails clearing the substantial amount of litter and debris that accumulate on the hillside. This also includes painting out the graffiti on the low retaining walls as well as on the tall stone walls surrounding the tourist overlook. The installation of the Pink Triangle each year is an opportunity to clean up one of San Francisco’s most popular tourist attractions—the Twin Peaks vista point. A group of us will do that on Saturday, June 1, from 1 pm to 3 pm.

    We need volunteers to help on these major volunteer workdays: 

    Saturday, June 1: Site Prep from 1 pm to 3 pm

    Litter and debris removal will take place, along with painting out all graffiti near the display.

    Friday, June 7: Pink Border Installation from noon to 4 pm

    There will be a layout of the display and installation of the “pink outline” made of 230-foot-long sailcloth borders.

    Saturday, June 8: Main Installation from 7 am–10 am

    300–350 people are needed to install all of the pink canvases and the 5,000 steel spikes, which are 12 inches long. Bring a hammer and gloves and wear sunscreen. Fashionable Pink Triangle t-shirts will be given to all who volunteer. The ceremony will follow right after the installation.

    Saturday, June 8: Commemoration Ceremony at 10:30 am

    Dignitaries, including San Francisco and state elected officials, Grand Marshals of the SF Pride Parade, lots of drag queens and transgender individuals, will address the extreme legislation being passed in some states that is filled with hatred and discrimination directed toward the transgender community. Personal freedoms are under attack in general. Also, the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band and musical theater star Leanne Borghesi will be performing. The ceremony will start with the annual “History of the Pink Triangle” and then will acknowledge acts of discrimination happening today against the LGBTQ community in the U.S. as well as around the world, such as in Uganda, where persecution of LGBTQs can include long jail terms and even the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality.”

    Sunday, June 30: Take-Down of the Display from 4:30 pm–8 pm

    The take-down of the display will happen right after the Pride Parade. Pink Triangle t-shirts will be given to all who volunteer. 

    This is a community-building event. Please pick one or more dates from the mentioned list to help; even an hour is a big help. Here is a 2024 sign up link with all of the volunteer opportunities listed:

    In addition, for those readers so inclined, they may please contribute to the Pink Triangle’s expenses. A link for donations (top left) is at the Pink Triangle website:

    Contributors will receive an automatic receipt since donations are tax deductible.

    Thank you!

    Patrick Carney is the Founder of The Friends of the Pink Triangle. The group, with the help of many dedicated volunteers, constructs a gigantic pink triangle on Twin Peaks each year during June. Carney, who worked on the restoration of San Francisco City Hall, was appointed to the City Hall Preservation Advisory Commission in 2013. He now serves on the San Francisco Arts Commission.

    San Francisco Pride Beacon of Love
    Published on May 23, 2024