LGBT Pride Tattoos: A Colourful Culture Of Diversity

Lucy Armstrong takes a brief look at some iconic tattoos of the LGBT community. Check it out!

Every year, millions of people across the globe paint the streets of towns and cities with a myriad of colors, celebrating one of the most vibrant carnivals on the calendar. An outpouring of the gorgeous and garish, lavish and lusty, Gay Pride is about embracing diversity and liberating the soul. But it’s not the only time when the LGBT community gets to paint its heart out – tattoos are a huge part of the culture which drives the LGBT movement and gives us a sense of belonging, proudly symbolizing who we are and what we stand for.

Coming Of AgeFor many people, tattoos reflect a coming of age and have deeply personal resonances. It’s no surprise that the ritual of coming out inspires its own inky contribution. For some of us, it can be a difficult and challenging time as well as a liberating one, and choosing the right body art can range from the light-hearted to the poignant depending on our experiences and what uncovering our identity means to us.

Rainbow LGBT tattoo
Rainbow LGBT tattoo

This work is particularly resonant with me because it signifies the struggle between our true selves and how we feel compelled to be by society, but sooner or later that rainbow is gonna come bursting out.

Another great concept, featured from Craig Patruno's Queer TATspiration page on Pinterest. Sometimes it can take some soul-searching before the pieces all come together.
Another great concept, featured from Craig Patruno's Queer TATspiration page on Pinterest. Sometimes it can take some soul-searching before the pieces all come together.

Activism & SolidarityWe’ve come a long way since the first LGBT activists took a brave stand a few generations ago – and some of our heroes and sheroes of marches past and present have the noble prints to prove it. It means alot to face adversity and shout out what we believe in – whether it’s marriage rights, recognition for gender equality, and solidarity for minorities. Wearing our beliefs in a defiant and courageous way can help us through the dark days and give us hope for the future.

Recent from Tattoo Ideas

That's what Pride means.
That's what Pride means.
This guy is all about Girl Power. He rocks!
This guy is all about Girl Power. He rocks!

Pop IconsWe all love our icons and the LGBT community is no exception, coveting the images of Madonna, Cher, and Annie Lennox just to name a few. The body is a beautiful canvas for the classy contours of Beth Ditto and the edgy charisma of rocker Pink, not to mention pin-up styles, folky flair and a plethora of lyrics from iconic songs across the decades. Paying homage to our beloved stars isn't just a tribute to their enduring fame, but a recognition of their contribution to the LGBT community and the overwhelming support they have shown over the years.

The Queen of Pop taking on folkier tones in Brendan Mudd's rustic ink work.
The Queen of Pop taking on folkier tones in Brendan Mudd's rustic ink work.
Marlene Dietrich Tat Mirek vel Stotker's suave rendering of classic screen goddess Marlene Dietrich.
Marlene Dietrich Tat Mirek vel Stotker's suave rendering of classic screen goddess Marlene Dietrich.

We Are FamilyWhether it’s a heart-framed tribute to a loved one – be it true love, or our ma, pop, or family pet, we love to preserve our honored affections of those who mean the most to us. It can be a simple design commemorating a date or symbolising a union, not only expressing our feelings but celebrating what love is all about.

Sweet tribute to love.
Sweet tribute to love.
LGBT tattoo
LGBT tattoo

Living On The Edge
It's not all "Glitter and Be Gay" in our crowd - just like every culture and counterculture, we love to get a bit rough around the edges. There's nothing to say that you can't find beauty on the dark side, or bring a little wild flair to the party!

Miguel Angel's gorgeous bear tattoo.
Miguel Angel's gorgeous bear tattoo.
Body art at Paris Pride 2010 - photography by Chris Summerfield.
Body art at Paris Pride 2010 - photography by Chris Summerfield.

And just to round it off, a couple of my personal favorites:

Well-deserved Winner of theLStop.org's 2013 Queer Tattoo Contest.
Well-deserved Winner of theLStop.org's 2013 Queer Tattoo Contest.
Amsterdam 2014 Pride temp tattoos, designed by Graham Sturt.
Amsterdam 2014 Pride temp tattoos, designed by Graham Sturt.

lucy_a_armstrong

@Lucy Armstrong

Lucy is a Canadian writer and artist based in the UK. She loves writing about everything from the arts and pop culture to sports, travel, and alternative living, and her obsession with the human aesthetic has led to an intense fascination with tattoo culture.

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