Once Again Safety Pins Bring Support and Comfort To The Gay, LBT, and Marginalized Communities

After 30 years safety pins once again are providing support and a safety net for groups left feeling vulnerable in Donald Trump’s America.

In 1986 at the height of the AIDS epidemic the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, a non- profit AIDS education in New York City, chose the safety pin as a symbol for safe sex support and education  ‘The idea was: safety pins, safe sex,’. Wearing the pins was just another way to promote the idea that safe sexual practices help slow the spread of AIDS.

Fast forward 30 years and the safety pin is back this time symbolizing support to the LGBT community and other maginalized groups amid mounting reports of racial, LGBT, and sexual harassment spurred on by Donald Trump’s election,

“To my fellow Americans, I will be your #safespace #LoveTrumpsHate if you see me with my #safetypin on, know I am an ally. Come talk to me,” tweeted @ErinFearns.

Some Muslim women in hijabs have reported harassment and intimidation following the presidential election. Numerous reports of gay bashings and anti-lgbt harassment  have also been reported .

On Friday, the hashtag #safetypin trended on Twitter, as dozens of people shared selfies with safety pins attached to their clothing.

“Standing together we will be safe,” one user tweeted.

“My #SafetyPin shows I will protect those who feel in danger bc of gender, sexuality, race, disability, religion, etc.,” another said. “You are safe with me.”

Even Star Trek captain Patrick Stewart has beamed aboard.

And while some may think that s a safety pin will do nothing to help in our current situation a symbol is a powerful thing that can bring millions of people together for a cause.

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, writer, blogger and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Advocate, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, Raw Story, and The Huffington Post

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