Illuminate the Pink Triangle

SF’s Iconic Pink Triangle to Be Illuminated for Pride

For the past twenty-four years, hundreds of volunteers in San Francisco have gathered on the city-facing slope of Twin Peaks to install a 200-foot-wide canvas pink triangle to celebrate Pride Month. The Pink Triangle, once a symbol of one of the darkest chapters in human history, now embraced as a beacon of hope and inclusion, has long been at the center of the city’s annual SF Pride celebration. This year, however, faced with social restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, San Francisco Pride has morphed into a virtual event, and the installation of the one-acre Pink Triangle has been thrown into jeopardy.

Patrick Carney, creator of the Triangle, and a visualization of the Pink Triangle. Photo courtesy Illuminate the Pink Triangle, 2020

However, SF Pride, the triangle’s creator Patrick Carney, and the creative folks at Illuminate are working on a light installation, “Illuminate the Pink Triangle,” to make the display more vibrant than ever. The monumental installation will feature 2,700 LED nodes of pink light. The illuminated triangle will serve as an enduring symbol of San Francisco’s resilience.

Illuminate was formed in 2011 in conjunction with their first installation, The Bay Lights, which illuminate the San Francisco Bay Bridge. Since then, they have also installed illuminations at the Conservatory of Flowers and Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. “Illuminate rallies large groups of people together to create impossible works of public art that, through awe, free humanity’s better nature,” their website says.

“We couldn’t be happier that the Pink Triangle is celebrating its 25th anniversary this way,” Fred Lopez, Executive Director of SF Pride, said in a press release. “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 GoFundMe campaign to raise $85,000. Contributions are 100-percent tax-deductible and go toward the Pink Triangle account at SF Pride. Illuminate is donating services and expertise to realize this civic project.


For more information, log on to http://www.illuminatethepinktriangle.org. To donate to make sure Illuminate the Pink Triangle goes foward, please visit https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/thepinktriangle.  For information about SF Pride, go to www.sfpride.org.

—Reporting by Hank Trout


Hank Trout, Senior Editor, edited Drummer, Malebox, and Folsom magazines in the early 1980s. A long-term survivor of HIV/AIDS (diagnosed in 1989), he is a forty-year resident of San Francisco, where he lives with his husband Rick. Follow him on Twitter @HankTroutWriter.