The idea of the day was to raise awareness of a hidden part of history. Due to shame and fear, the past lives of LGBT+ people are often kept in the shadows. With this in mind, on Holocaust Memorial Day 2019, SAYiT wanted to display a Pink Triangle, which was the emblem chosen by Nazis to identify LGBT+ prisoners, on Sheffield’s Amphitheatre.
With bundles of donated material and tie dye t-shirts made by members of SAYiT’s youth groups: staff, volunteers and our young people scaled the hill to start laying out Sheffield’s first ever Pink Triangle. We thought we had been lucky with the weather, for weeks we had seen clear skies forecast, but although clear skies were still predicted, 45 mph winds were also on there way. With a rushed buy of pegs and nets to hold down the material, the installation remained a success, with a clear pink triangle, proudly visible to Sheffield’s City Centre.
As daylight was depleting and the wind was picking up we took the Pink Triangle down from the amphitheatre, to replace it with a bright pink triangle projected onto the side of the Milenium Galleries. We collaborated with Museums of Sheffield by holding a talk titled “Remembering LGBT+ voices from the Holocaust” at the Millenium Galleries at 17:00. We had a good turnout of people to honour those persecuted or murdered in the Holocaust during World War II, to think about those persecuted or murdered in subsequent holocausts and think about those who are still facing persecution today. We heard from Steve Slack, CEO here at SAYiT, Sophie Williams, a youth worker here at SAYiT who lead on this event, Councillor Olivia Blake and the Chair and Vice Chair of LGBT+ Equality Hub, Heather Paterson and Luke Allen, all while the Pink Triangle shone on the outside of the building.
Feedback from the event was all positive, with people voicing that it was educational, inspiring and thought provoking. We hope to run this event annually, to revive the stories and experiences of out LGBT+ family that has been hidden for years.
Sophie Williams, SAYiT Youth Worker