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Gay Rights Symbolism

There are many reasons why the pink triangle holds such an extraordinary power in the minds of all homosexuals. The cause for this dates all the way back to World War ll. During the time when Nazis were putting thousands of Jews into concentration camp, those who were male homosexuals were forced to wear pink triangles as badges. This was yet another way to differentiate and discrimination homosexuals from the heterosexuals. After records had been found, it was estimated that of the 6,000,000 Jews whom were killed, 220,000 of them had been homosexuals. Today, many homosexuals continue to wear these triangles as a symbol of the suffering they had gone through. They want society to remember what they were put through and hope that this will help homosexuals and their cause in the future.


In 1969, a group of sixty members, whom were known as The Gay Liberation Front, protested at the San Francisco’s Examiner. This protest was called the “Friday of the Purple Hand,” and “Bloody Friday of the Purple Hand.” Employees of the Examiner were throwing printers ink onto the crowd of homosexual protesters. These protesters used the ink that had been thrown at them, and wrote with it onto the building. Meanwhile, they had been pressing their hands against the walls, all throughout San Francisco. The tactical squad eventually came after the crowd of gays and started arresting one after another. The arresting had gotten as bad as women getting thrown to the ground, and teeth getting knocked out. The purple hand had now been a symbol representing a warning against anti-gay attacks.


In the past there have been many protests, demonstrations, and rallies against discrimination of homosexuals. Throughout these protests, homosexuals have used a wide variety of ways to get their opinions heard. They would give speechs, preform demonstrations, and make an assortment of different signs. One example of this was the protest sign that read “I’d Rather Fight Than Switch”. This spread such a powerful message because it was telling society that no matter what kind of discrimination homosexuals would have to endure, they would continue to fight it rather than convert to heterosexuality. They felt it was their right to do as they wished, even if it didn’t fit into the government’s idea of a “perfect society”.


The relationship between homosexuality and religion has been a long going struggle throughout history. The reason for such controversy is because homosexuality was against the views and beliefs of some religions. They felt as if marriage was defined as being between a man and a woman. They also viewed homosexuality as a sin, and is going against many religious lifestyles. As the years have passed, some religious have become more accepted, and others have kept here viewpoint on the issue. Furthermore, this is a battle that is continuing to be fought today.

One of the final important artifacts symbolizing the gay rights movement was the American Psychiatric Association’s list of mental disorders. This was such an important document to homosexuals because all the way up until 1973, homosexuality had been included in their list of mental disorders. This was such an important stepping stone for all homosexuals because it began spreading the idea that homosexuality was a choice, rather than an illness. It began to educate society by showing them that being homosexual was no longer something that could be “treated” or changed; it was something that had to be accepted. Many people included in the gay rights movement, looked at this as a positive accomplishment and hoped that this would spark many other improvements as well. Although the APA’s list of mental disorders had first been a set back, it had eventually been reversed into a great achievement.

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