June is Pride Month, officially, but for tattoo artist Tron, queer pride comes in more forms than a socially-mandated calendar month and a sparkly parade. Leveraging her talents for good, Tron’s created an entire flash sheet dedicated to Queer Pride, with all proceeds going to a non-profit that works with homeless LGBTQ youth.
“I think queer visibility is important right now because of the state of this world,” the East River artist says. “If we’re not proud of who we are, I feel like we’re gonna be the type of people who just get pushed around, or not seen, or it’s just gonna be harder because of how the world is. [The world] is kind of reverting back.”
Tron's Queer Pride Flash is a strong combination of raunchy imagery, giggly jokes, and general identity iconography, so there’s a little something for everyone. “I wanted to be able to touch on as much as I could with the icons,” she explains. “It could be as simple as the female symbol, the male symbol, the lesbian and gay symbols, and also just pronouns people like to describe themselves. Tom of Finland, kind of inside jokes in the queer, lesbian world is pretty much what these are inspired by.” While in her SESSIONS video, we see her tattooing a leather daddy cap, we were quite fond of the socks with Teva sandals, a strange and mysterious lesbian fashion choice. Tron’s fundraising flash is just the right amount of serious to sassy, with the importance of an underlying cause.
“I’m inspired by punk, DIY aesthetics, old school flash, and I do my own twist to it,” says Tron, who’s been tattooing for a little over 6 years. You can see all those elements throughout Tron’s work — her other flash, for instance, might feature a coffee mug with steaming coffee, bold-will-hold lines, and a Descendents logo. The mash-up of punk and traditional tattooing is a happy marriage, and Tron knows how to fuse it right.
We’ve written about East River before, and their welcoming vibe, and Tron confirms what we all already knew. “I think, working at East River, the environment provides us to be who we are. Duke [Riley] really wants us to push our boundaries within our own work, and just wants to support us. So it’s nice to be in an environment where everyone is just supportive of each other, and people can see that when they come in, that we enjoy where we are and what we do.”
Given this state of the world, Tron wants to give back as much as possible with this Pride Flash, and is even willing to tattoo the icons past June, as long as people book the appointment by the end of the month. You can even snag a print of the flash and a handmade zine at Tron’s website, so your dollar can go far supporting LGBTQ homeless youth.