There’s no right way to celebrate Pride Month. Your plans could include taking to the streets to march in a Pride parade or to your phone to post on social media. If you’re looking for a more permanent way to celebrate Pride Month, we’ve rounded up ten awesome rainbow tattoos to get you inspired and help you feel empowered.
1. Add a splash of color:
Tattoos can have multiple meanings, and with the trends of black, linework sketches and watercolor tattoos on the rise, why not combine the two? By including a splash of rainbow watercolor to another work of art of your choice, you can create a dynamic tattoo that speaks to who you are on a number of levels. This tattoo by Savi Chan blends beautiful line work with a splash of color over the eyes—because who doesn’t want to view the world through rainbow-colored glasses?
2. Give the pride flag personal meaning:
The LGBTQ+ experience isn’t always an easy one. As gay people, we are allowed to reclaim our struggle and celebrate our identities with tattoos like this one. Consider a personal experience you’ve had in relation to your identity and work with your artist to create something that represents and celebrates you. And remember, if it makes you uncomfortable, you don’t have to share your story with your artist or anyone to have a tattoo that reminds you of what you’ve gone through.
3. Keep it simple:
Maybe you’re like me, and you prefer simple but beautiful black linework. Or maybe this is your first tattoo, and you’re wanting to dip your toes in before going for a full-fledged back piece. No matter the case, this tattoo from Black Rabbit Tattoo in Richmond, VA, takes simple yet stunning linework and creates a proud statement. Remember, simple can still speak volumes.
4. Make it abstract:
So...not a rainbow tattoo but that's because gay pride is individual and every queer experience is unique. So why not make your pride tattoo unique? If you don’t want a straight forward rainbow, but you still want to celebrate your experience, consider going abstract with a tattoo inspired by this one. With color by Aleksandra Stojanoska and linework by Nester Formentera, this tattoo takes the Pride flag to a whole new level, celebrating the female form with a mesmerizing blend of colors.
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5. Say “Love Is Love” with hearts:
“Love is Love” has been one of the many powerful, defining resistance mantras of the LGBTQ+ community for decades, meaning that regardless of gender, orientation, background, or creed, the love between two or more people is all that matters—that discriminating against love because it goes against societal norms is hateful and not acceptable. By Laurel Winston at Adrenaline Toronto, this tattoo says it all with six perfect, color-blocked hearts.
6. Keep it classic:
Also not a rainbow tattoo, but this particular symbol is really important to the community! The equals sign became the defining logo of the Human Rights Campaign in 1995, stating that LBTQ+ rights are human rights. It has since become the most recognizable image of the gay rights and gay pride movements, telling people around the world that oppressed communities should be given equal opportunities. This equality tattoo by Wise Kid Tattoo is a perfect inspiration if you’re getting your first tattoo or if you like to keep your work small and simple.
7. Give new meaning to linework:
This beautifully blended version of the Pride flag creates a stunning line from top to bottom, emulating a cut, presenting the idea that we can bleed whatever color we feel represents who we are. If you’re looking for beautiful simplicity, this could be the inspiration you need.
8. Take it horizontal:
If you want a brighter version of the previous tattoo, consider donning bold lines of color. San Francisco-based queer artist Gilbert Baker created the Pride flag in 1978 to represent the idea of a gay nation reclaiming its own vision of power. Since then, the rainbow flag has made appearances in Pride parades around the country, including a powerful a mile-long flag in New York City in 1994 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. This handpoke tattoo by Martyna Jankowiak is the Pride flag in its purest form.
9. Make a statement:
Proud of your identity? Want to make a bold statement? Consider this graphic typography work by Chelsea, aka CJH Tattoos. And it doesn’t just have to say “pride.” It could be a quote that represents you or a mantra like “Love is Love.” No matter what you want to say, say it in a rainbow.
10. Take your pride to the stars:
Want to do something a little more complex and involved? This interpretation of Pride takes the flag and turns it into a galaxy where love is love. If you’re wanting to incorporate your permanent celebration into a bigger tattoo, this is one way to do it. Work with your artist to make sure you include all of the elements you want into your Pride tattoo.
Bonus: Not so set on permanence? Inkbox has a whole section of temporary LGBTQ+ tattoos that you can browse and try out so that you can find a tattoo that celebrates you the way you want to be celebrated.
Remember that your story and your identity is your own. Just because the tattoo you want isn’t doused in rainbow colors, doesn’t disqualify it from Pride. And if rainbow everything is your jam, go for it! There are also subset flags and colors for each identity, so look into those if you want something more personal. And check out relevant hashtags on Instagram and Twitter to find more inspiration. No matter how you’re celebrating this June, Happy Pride!