FEBRUARY 14, 2014? Happy 35th Anniversary!!

Oh! You didn't realize that was the 35th anniversary of Canada's only Annual gay Holiday? Well it is. The fact that You are now saying "What are you talking about??" is a very clear indication of level of observance and awareness of this event. In the late 70's an national organization of Canada's lesbians and gays existed called the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Rights Coalition (CLGRC). Delegates from across Canada met once a year to network, pool resources, workshop, rejuvenate each other and plan and coordinate strategies. The 1979 conference was held in Ottawa and those delegates were celebrating the first major legal victory, for the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Rights movement. That victory was the acquittal of the officers of Pink Triangle Press (Xtra's parent). Those officers had been charged with obscenity for the publication of an article called "Men Loving Boys Loving Men" which dealt with child sexuality. CLGRC wanted to commemorate that victory and since the court's decision had been handed down on February 14th, they decided to declare an Annual Gay Holiday to be held every year on that day. Although the 14th was usually commemorated as Valentine's Day , the delegates wanted to take this opportunity to challenge what Christopher Isherwood has called the "heterosexual dictatorship" by affirming for ourselves and for the world, the existence, the strength, and the beauty of gay love.

Pink Triangle Day was never intended to be a gay/lesbian copy of Valentine's Day. Rather its focus was to celebrate the wide ranging diversity of gay and lesbian relationships within our community. It was not only acceptable, it was encouraged, to extend good wishes to ALL of the significant people in your life. Your friends and your family (chosen and/or biological) as well as that very special someone should all receive Happy Pink Triangle Day greetings. While Valentine Day greetings are overwhelmingly focused on couple-dom, Pink Triangle Day provides us with an opportunity to acknowledge the value, the importance and the central role which non-sexual relationships play in most of our lives. When we are small, we are delighted to pass out Valentines to all of our friends but somewhere along the road to adulthood, things change. We seldom take the time to acknowledge the importance of our friends in our lives. This is a perfect opportunity.

Our community needs more than one celebration per year to keep us going and growing. If enough people wanted to make it happen, Pink Triangle Day could provide a perfect mid-winter lift to our spirits. Why couldn't we have a lesbian/gay Winter Carnival?

We would like to encourage the awareness and celebration of Pink Triangle Day. On February 14, 2014 we will be celebrating the 35th anniversary of the declaration of this holiday. Imagine the fun if a million lesbians & gays decided to celebrate that event. Visualize a Winter carnival infused with the creativity, the flair, and the gusto that a only a million friends of Dorothy could give it. We do, after all, throw the best parties!

To the skeptics who are even now saying "Get real, Mary!", we offer, Anna Jarvis in rebuttal. She is proof that one person CAN make a difference. Anna, of Grafton, West Virginia had a dream and she also had the tenacity to fight for it. Although the idea had first been suggested as a day dedicated to peace by Julia Ward Howe (U.S. Womyn's Suffrage leader and the author of "The Battle Hymn of The Republic") in 1872, it was Anna Jarvis who campaigned tirelessly to make the idea a reality, because Anna thought that MOTHERS deserved recognition by society for all they do and that we should have a special day dedicated to them. In 1907, she started a letter writing campaign. With tireless enthusiasm, she contacted anyone who she perceived as having any power or influence. She contacted clergy, business and society leaders, politicians, and newspaper and magazine editors to enlist their support for her cause. Person by person, the ranks of her supporters grew and the idea edged closer to reality. In 1915 (only eight years later) President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed that henceforth, the U.S.A. would observe the second Sunday each May as a day dedicated to Mothers. Other countries quickly followed suit and in 2014, 99 years later, Mother's Day is celebrated in most of the world. Way to go Anna!

We hope to make Pink Triangle Day an institution as well. What do you think? Is it a worthwhile project? Want to jump on the bandwagon? Write to me and tell me what you think.

(click here for artwork details or printable version of all artwork)