Story behind an aerial view of SF’s Pink Triangle

Karl The Fog looks stunning with a bit of pink blush

Photo: Courtesy of JJ Meeks

AAmid the darkest times of the 2020 pandemic, the virtual San Francisco Pride festivities offered Zoomable balm during a time marked by colorless days, weeks and months.

There were digital dance parties; Queen Diva herself, Big Freedia, headlined SF Pride’s 50th anniversary festivities; the Corona Heights Parks cruise however was a non-existent affair. But Twin Peaks lit up with thousands of LEDs, each emitting a purple hue and assembled to resemble the city’s pink triangle installation installed during Pride month.

And this latest exhibition of street lighting artwork was welcomed with open arms in 2021. And again this year too.

Patrick Carney, the Pink Triangle co-founder, announced earlier this month that the Illuminated Pink Triangle would return on Wednesday, June 1. Carney said Illuminate – the organization behind Bay Lights and other light art projects in the area – has again worked its magic to keep the pink tarp installation as a work of art. street lighting – would again install these 2,700 LED nodes of pink lights on the triangle, instead of the roughly 200 pink tarps that are usually arranged to form the shape.

The Illuminated Pink Triangle has become a true beacon of hope, resilience and strength over the past two years. It’s endlessly gorgeous from every angle; he elicits double takes that strain your lower neck as he inevitably punches through the fog at sunset. However, because Twin Peaks is 922 feet above sea level, it is rather difficult to get a bird’s eye view of the facility – unless you are Bay Area Photographer JJ Meekswho has a knack for taking aerial photos of “Fog City” and all of its peculiar intricacies.

“I took this photo with my drone,” says Meeks bold italics in an email, noting that he didn’t really use any “special tricks” to get the image. The plus: the local photographer does not live too far from this particular place.

Initially, the pink triangle — a symbol salvaged from the Nazis in the 1970s as a seal of queer solidarity and retaliation against homophobia — didn’t mean too much to Meek. But living in San Francisco for two decades now and working in tandem with the LGBTQIA+ community on numerous projects, the meaningful emblem has become important to him.

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“The triangle never meant much to me years ago. But now, after working in the community for fifteen years, it’s something that should be important to anyone who supports gay rights. Meek adds, “It means more to a lot of my friends and colleagues, and they mean a lot to me.”

Thanks to Meek, we have a whole new vantage point to appreciate this layered symbolism for the entire month of June.

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