CUPE Ontario is proud to mark Pink Triangle Day in recognition of the diversity, strength and resilience of 2SLGBTQI+ people, families, and communities in our province.

We also join 2SLGBTQI+ communities and allies around the world in honoring the meaning behind the pink triangle. It was originally intended as a badge of dishonour, but solidarity transformed it into a sign of action and positivity for the future.

The history of the pink triangle as a symbol of 2SLGBTQI+ resistance and liberation has its origins in Nazi Germany; throughout the 1930s and 40s, that murderous regime sent thousands of 2SLGBTQI+ people to concentration camps. There, gay men were made to wear a pink triangle as a badge of identification and ignominy.

Even after camps were liberated, persecution against 2SLGBTQI+ people continued; many remained in prison for years because of homosexuality continued to be classified as criminal. Reclamation of the pink triangle began in the 1970s, and has since become a cherished badge of pride, resistance and commemoration.

In Canada, the triangle and the date February 14 are associated with the legal victory of the Pink Triangle Press, publisher of the gay liberation magazine The Body Politic. On this day in 1979, the press’s officers were acquitted of distributing indecent materials and, later that year, the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Rights Coalition declared the date Pink Triangle Day.

Pink Triangle Day also reminds us that, whenever and wherever the right is in ascendance, 2SLGBTQI+ communities and individuals are targeted. In the current climate, they continue to be persecuted and the hard-won gains of the past decades come under threat, around the world and closer to home.

That is why our union’s response to these attacks on 2SLGBTQI+ rights is crucial, as are the ways in which we continue to support 2SLGBTQI+ people and issues in our movement. whether it’s standing up to Alberta’s Danielle Smith and her attack on the rights of trans and gender diverse youth; facing down the haters of the “1 Million March 4 Children” in Ontario; or fighting back against Doug Ford’s divisive, dog-whistle politics in our province.

There is no more important example of coalition-building than among labour and 2SLGBTQI+ communities.  We are grateful to the 2SLGBTQI+ folks who are not only leaders in our movement, but who connect us to the many communities that share labour’s goals. CUPE Ontario was the first body to give 2SLGBTQI+ members representation on its executive board, and many of today’s 2SLGBTQI+ leaders sit on CUPE Ontario’s Pink Triangle Committee (PTC).

The committee members work to create safer, fairer places for 2SLGBTQI+ members in their workplaces and in their unions; take part in political action; and represent CUPE Ontario at community events like Pride. To learn more, visit the PTC webpage at  and follow the committee at