Letters to the editor

  • by BAR staff
  • Wednesday July 4, 2018
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Thanks for another great pink triangle

Thank you to the 250-plus volunteers who made the 23rd annual pink triangle possible by installing 175 bright pink tarps atop Twin Peaks on the beautiful warm Saturday morning of June 23. Also, thank you to the 50 people who helped take the one-acre display down after the Pride parade. The hard work and commitment of the volunteers made the display's installation and de-installation possible. The pink triangle truly is a "community-building" project, and, for me personally, getting to know so many dedicated, hardworking people is a real treasure.

Thank you to the dignitaries who spoke during the commemoration ceremony, including San Francisco Mayor-elect London Breed, Cleve Jones, German Consul General Hans-Ulrich Suedbeck, French Minister of Gender Equality Marl´┐Żne Schiappa (who is also in charge of LGBTQ issues for the French government), French Consul General Emmanuel Lebrun-Damiens, Honorary Consul General of Monaco Thomas E. Horn, state Senator Scott Wiener, Assemblymen Phil Ting and David Chiu, city Treasurer Jose Cisneros, Supervisor-elect Rafael Mandelman, and City College Trustees Tom Temprano and Alex Randolph. Also speaking were SF Pride grand marshals and honorees, Kin Folkz, Shaun Haines, and Michael J. Wong, who spoke on behalf of organizational grand marshal the SF Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band.

The pink triangle ceremony remembers the hatred of the past, while reminding us that LGBTQ people aren't out of the woods yet. The ceremony began with a very moving and informative "History of the Pink Triangle" which was told in four parts. First up was Jones, the AIDS Memorial Quilt creator, who gave the formal reading of the "History of the Pink Triangle" and then related it to current happenings, such as the detainment of immigrant children currently underway in this country. Then, an international perspective was given in three parts. Suedbeck spoke of Germany's role in the Holocaust; he was joined at the podium by his husband and two children to illustrate very clearly how far Germany has come since the dark days of the Holocaust. Schiappa told of efforts to keep France at the forefront of nations regarding LGBTQ rights. Lebrun-Damiens joined her at the podium. Also, speaking briefly was Horn, who oversees the Bob Ross Foundation (which sponsored the 2018 pink triangle T-shirts.)

A big thank you to our 2018 sponsors: SF Pride, the Bob Ross Foundation, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Hamburger Mary's, Hodgkins Jewelers; and Starbucks, for the coffee, tea, pastries, and cookies and for many volunteers. For help inspiring volunteers with "media sponsorship": the Bay Area Reporter, and Betty's List/SF Bay Times. The SF mayor's office and SF Department of Real Estate for their ongoing support and help; SF Public Works, for sending a crew to clear much of the hillside site of poison oak and non-native thorny plants before the installation; Sargent Bailey and other members at Park Station of the San Francisco Police Department, who watched over the ceremony and for giving 24-hour coverage; and Katie Hickox for keeping up the pink triangle website (http://www.thepinktriangle.com).

This event could not have lasted all these decades without the ongoing dedication of Colleen Hodgkins and Hossein Carney, my husband, who have been the main helpers for over two decades. Thank you also to extraordinary and generous musical theater star Leanne Borghesi, who sang many spirited tunes.

Thank you to all who helped make the 2018 pink triangle a successful event.

Patrick Carney

San Francisco