Saturday, June 13, 2009

The pink triangle stole - updated

Here you go, my patient puppies.

In order to make up for my oversight, I took the stole and my camera to a group dinner at the home of friends and had the host take this shot. The robust tan you see is my face almost glowing from hours of sun today. Fortunately, I tan more than burn.

Now for some stories behind the stole (as opposed to stories told "under the stole").

I pieced this stole for Pride Day 1997, I believe. At that time I was the interim priest at St Aidan's, San Francisco. I wore the stole as the St Aidan's contingent marched in the parade on Market Street that afternoon. I also wore it that morning at Mass. At the end of the service a colleague announced that the Diocese of California had one more lesbian and I put the stole on her. So an emotional coming out is tied to this stole, along with wonderful memories of the good people at St Aidan's.

Yes, Susan S., I got soppy recounting this tale along the parade route when we had come to a stop. What can I say? I'm a tenderhearted guy.

It occurred to me that some guests to this site might not know the significance of the pink triangle. In a nutshell, it is one of the symbols of the gay rights movement drawn from the history of Nazi Germany. A pink triangle was worn by gay prisoners just as yellow stars of David were worn by Jewish ones. Many gays suffered in the holocaust, along with Jews, Poles, Jehovah's Witnesses, and others of whom the Nazis disapproved. You may learn more here. Like the cross, it is a symbol drawn from a history of cruelty to be transformed into a mark of identity. And pride. It also reminds us of solidarity with those before us who have suffered and died.

--the BB


Ellie Finlay said...

Whoo hoo! I love it.

And the story is very moving indeed.

David said...

wonderful story
beautiful stole
great pic
and shreer poetry, your weaving the story into this years march


Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Blue means penitence in Sweden, it's ised in some places instead of purple.

Grandmère Mimi said...

There be pink triangles! And a Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe t-shirt!

Wonderful story, Pablito, and you look great with your tan - even if it's not good FOR you.

Paul said...

I wore the Virgencita T-shirt for two reasons. First, though my sage green overshirt covers them, the putti around the Virgin on this tee are on hot pink cloudlets. So coordination is key. (And how gay is that?) Secondly, I have a deep devotion to la Morenita. The first time I visited her basilica on Tepeyac I was very moved. I know that Jesus loves his rainbow children, and so does Mom.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Paul, I was quite moved by my visit to the shrine, too, and I've carried my habit of honoring Mary and asking Mary's intercession with her Son over with me in my migration from the RCC.

Paul said...

When Catholics came to our parish in Oakland I always reassured them i wanted our parish to be a good, safe place to be Catholic (without worrying about the Vatican and its strictures). In the nave you have a huge icon of the Baptism of Christ (with Tibetan Buddhist style mingled into it) on your left and a full-size reproduction of Juan Diego's tilma with Our Lady of Guadalupe on your right. So whether you were feeling Eastern Orthodox, Buddhist, or Catholic on any particular morning, you could feel at home. A cross behind the altar with no corpus, in case you were feeling Protestant, and an Ethiopian processional cross in case you felt Aftican Orthodox. In summer we had banners of the four seasons, so that should help Wiccans feel welcome. I do miss the freedom of the Bay Area out here, though we have lots of creativity and cultural openness.

How nice that we have this experience (of Mary and Tepeyac) in common along with several others!

Grandmère Mimi said...

The parish sounds lovely and welcoming.

susankay said...

Paul -- love the stole. You are not only a good person but also a pretty darn good seamster. (that, a stepson who was on the faculty of Clown College as a seamster, informed me is the appropriate term for a male who sews) And I love the pink triangles which I recognized for what they were. And let us not forget the Rom (aka "gypsies" as in Egyptians) whose triangles were black.

a propos of the latter postings -- I so love how very LARGE the sky is here in the southwest.

Jane R said...

Lovely, lovely, lovely, and everyone has spoken more and better than I could have. What a stole and what a story.

I too love la Virgencita and have a big image of her in my living room (a gift from Eddie Fernández, you'll be happy to know, Pablito.

Happy Pride Weekend to you!

Word verification: bersyc.

Paul said...

I remember seeing la Virgencita in your living room but did not know it was from dear Eddie. I am so glad I got to take a couple of courses from the Jesuits while in Berkeley.