White background with an off white ring around the outside. In the center is an upside-down pink triangle. All font is black. Above the triangle reads “Sonoma State”, in the triangle reads “Safe Zone,” and diagonally at the bottom in a different font reads, “ally.” Around the outside of the button reads, “Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender & Questioning” with a dot at the end.
The HUB cultural center at Sonoma State University is a student support space that seeks to foster connections and build community on campus. Their programming focuses on inclusivity and equality, with much of their work engaging with gender and sexuality. The concept of a “safe zone” is a space (physical or metaphorical) where conversations are met with care and support. On many college campuses, staff and students undergo some “safe zone” training and then wear visuals like buttons or stickers to indicate that they are open to engaging in supportive conversations – specifically around LGBTQIA+ topics.
The upside-down pink equilateral triangle is a symbol for various LGBTQIA+ identities. It was originally used by the Nazi regime as a visual cue for stigmatization of homosexual concentration camp prisoners. However, in the 1970s, it was revived and reclaimed by gay rights activists. This reclamation was met with some trepidation until the AIDS epidemic hit. In 1987, ACT UP chose to invert the triangle, so it faced upward, becoming a powerful visual symbol of pride and resilience in the face of horrendous persecution. More contemporarily, the pink triangle can be seen at protests and pride parades, on a range of materials.
Plant, R. (1986). The Pink Triangle: The Nazi War Against Homosexuals. Retrieved November 6, 2020, from https://books.google.ca/books/about/The_Pink_Triangle.html?id=oQeradc0pu....
Sonoma State University. (n.d.). The HUB Home. Sonoma State University. Retrieved November 6, 2020, from http://hub.sonoma.edu/.
Waxman, O. B. (2018, May 31). How the Nazi Regime's Pink Triangle Symbol Was Repurposed for LGBTQ Pride. Time. Retrieved November 6, 2020, from https://time.com/5295476/gay-pride-pink-triangle-history/.