What? Valentine’s Day is also Pink Triangle Day
In the late 1970’s, a national organization of Canada’s lesbians and gays existed called the CLGRC, the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Rights Coalition. Once a year delegates from across the country would meet to network, pool resources, conduct workshops and coordinate strategies.
In 1979 the conference was held in Ottawa and it was to become a celebration of the first major legal victory for the Canadian LGBT movement. The victory was the acquittal of the officers of Pink Triangle Press, the parent organization for Xtra, Canada’s coast to coast LGBT news source.
The court handed down the decision on February 14th and the CLGRC declared that each February 14th would be an annual Gay Holiday. The day is not intended to replace Valentine’s Day, but rather allow the community to celebrate the wide ranging diversity of all relationships in the LGBTQ2+ community.
Excerpt from the 1979 Resolution
In July of 1979, at the closing session of the annual meeting of the delegates of the Canadian Lesbian & Gay Rights Coalition; the delegates unanimously passed the following resolution.
We recognize the importance of making known our history, so much of which has been lost or stolen, and particularly, of commemorating the victories of lesbians and gay men. Given the historic importance of the acquittal of the officers of Pink Triangle Press as the First major legal victory for the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Rights movement, and given the fortuitous date of that victory, we propose a yearly celebration to mark the day.
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.
A central symbol of the St. Valentine’s Day celebration has been the figure of Cupid, derived from the ancient Greek “EROS” ‘ We intend to make this day a celebration of the liberation of EROS, both as a reality in our personal lives since coming out, and as a political goal to be achieved.
We therefore proclaim February 14th as an annual Canadian Gay Holiday, to be known as “PINK TRIANGLE DAY” .Visit pinktriangleday.com
History of the Pink Triangle
The Pink Triangle, the Lambda, and the Rainbow Flag are all symbols for LGBTQ2+ Pride. The Pink Triangle was placed on prisoners by the Nazi’s to mark that they were homosexual. The Nazi’s drew up “Pink Lists” and began a vicious crackdown of gay men and women. Some were castrated by court order and an estimated 100,000 men were sent to concentration camps where up to 55,000 were executed.
As one prisoner described it, “everyone who was sentenced to death would be lifted up onto the hook. The howling and screaming were inhuman, beyond human comprehension”.
Rising anti-gay hysteria around the world puts LGBTQ2+ people in grave danger.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”