The Pink Triangle, once a symbol of one of the darkest chapters in human history and now embraced as a beloved beacon of hope and inclusion, has long been at the center of the city’s annual SF Pride celebration. Yet Patrick Carney’s iconic public art installation atop Twin Peaks is in question – in its 25th year. Social distancing restrictions will make it impossible to construct the massive canvas triangle.
But a milestone effort is underway to Illuminate the Pink Triangle – making it more vibrant than ever. The monumental installation will be augmented by Illuminate, the nonprofit behind the Bay Lights, and will feature 2,700 LED nodes of pink light. The mesmerizing triangle – covering a full acre – will serve as an enduring symbol of San Francisco’s resilience.
The estimated one million annual participants will not be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Pride in San Francisco this year, yet through this effort, the city – and the world – will be able to experience something beautiful together when it officially goes live the evening before Pride Sunday.
A Global Grand Lighting is scheduled for Saturday, June 27, starting at 8 PM (PST).
For the past 24 years, hundreds of volunteers have gathered near the top of Twin Peaks to install The Pink Triangle. Led by founder and longtime LGBTQ+ activist Patrick Carney, this gigantic hillside installation can be seen from across the San Francisco Bay every Pride Weekend. This year, the Pink Triangle’s 25th anniversary — which coincides with the 50th anniversary of SF Pride — social-distancing restrictions put the status of this large-scale public art project in limbo. Fortunately, to honor this historic occasion, Carney has teamed up with Illuminate (the nonprofit behind The Bay Lights) and with Patricia Suflita Wilson, the media maven behind the worldwide viral BatKid Make-A-Wish campaign, to electrify the efforts to Illuminate the Pink Triangle. This year, a small, specialized team will safely install the thousands of pink LED nodes, creating a vibrant acre of light and revealing a mesmerizing, elegant civic focal point.
“Part of commemorating any Pride Weekend is remembering where we have been,” Patrick Carney, the creator of the Pink Triangle, says. “It is a highly visible, yet silent reminder of inhumanity. It recalls one of the darkest chapters of human history, yet it has been reclaimed, to become a powerful symbol of hope, inclusion, love and resiliency.”
“Our City has lived through a modern-day pandemic, demonstrating great care and compassion,” says Ben Davis, Founder and CEO of Illuminate. “We have an important lesson to share now. Lighting the Pink Triangle is an opportunity to honor history, inform the present, and shape a brighter, more equitable future.”
“We couldn’t be happier that the Pink Triangle is celebrating its 25th anniversary this way,” says Fred Lopez, Executive Director of SF Pride. “I’m very proud to continue our longstanding relationship with San Francisco’s most prominent symbol of queer resilience. Like Pride, the Pink Triangle encourages us to choose compassion over fear.”
To complete the work, Illuminate the Pink Triangle has announced a $85,000 GoFundMe campaign. Contributions are 100-percent tax-deductible and go toward the Pink Triangle account at SF Pride, which has long been the project’s fiscal sponsor.
Illuminate is donating services and expertise to realize this civic project.
And here is the limited-edition, hand-crafted necklace created by James Cole in consultation with Illuminate. This is the stainless steel version, it emits a pink light: to be worn with PRIDE! It will be gifted to some happy few, and might become available for purchase later…
PINK TRIANGLE DETAILS
- First year of the Pink Triangle: 1996
- Size: almost 200 feet in diameter, covering approximately one acre
- Illuminated Pink Triangle: 2,700 LED nodes, 43 rows of lights
- Measurements: 100 feet along top, 200 feet along sides
- 2020 Global grand lighting: Saturday, June 27, 8 PM at San Francisco’s Twin Peaks
- Social media hashtag: #ThePinkTriangle
- Established in 2011, in conjunction with the creation of The Bay Lights
- Mission: “Illuminate rallies large groups of people together to create impossible works of public art that, through awe, free humanity’s better nature.”
- Notable Bay Area projects: the Bay Lights, Harvey’s Halo, Conservatory of Flowers, Grace Light at Grace Cathedral
- Established: 1970 as “Gay Freedom Day”
- Executive Director: Fred Lopez
- #Pride50 Celebration information here