Tattoos are neutral--they are not necessarily affiliated with any one group. However, they can reflect religious beliefs, cultural background, group membership and other characteristics. Lesbians wishing to get tattoos that display or celebrate their sexuality have many options, from popular designs to personal tattoos that only the wearer can truly appreciate.
If affirming or celebrating sexuality in a traditional way is important, pride-symbol tattoos are a good fit. Some symbols represent only lesbians while others express pride for the larger queer community. For instance, the double women's symbol represents same-sex love between females. The rainbow flag, which once symbolised gay and lesbian pride only, is a popular symbol for the queer community.
Tattoos also reflect social movements and organisations that assist the lesbian and larger queer community. The National Center for Lesbian Rights' slogans and pictures serve as tattoo designs for its supporters. According to the Human Rights Campaign, the Greek letter lambda "was adopted by the Gay Activist Alliance in 1970 as a symbol of the gay movement." The Human Rights Campaign says the inverted pink triangle, a symbol used during the Holocaust, "was adopted by gay and lesbian activists to remember those who were tortured and killed in Nazi concentration camps."
Famous lesbians and lesbian advocates can make for recognisable tattoos. Use likenesses of faces, symbols of organisations they supported or poignant quotes from these icons. Notable artists and their works can also readily inspire tattoo designs. Joan Jett, a rock icon who publicly supports her plentiful lesbian fans, has a distinct appearance, guitar, and album covers that can all be commemorated with tattoos.
Inside Jokes/Humorous Tattoos
For humorous , but not always obvious tattoo ideas, fictional characters often perceived as lesbians offer plenty of alternatives. Xena and Gabrielle of the TV show "Xena: Warrior Princess," Peppermint Patty and Marcie of the comic strip "Peanuts" and Velma of the cartoon "Scooby-Doo" are a few such characters.
Personal or self-created tattoos can be especially meaningful because they are tailored exactly to the wearer's tastes. Celebrate relationships with a tattoo from a photograph, such as a picture of partners sharing a kiss. Even traditional symbols can be redesigned or combined with other symbols to create personalised tattoos. For example, a lesbian who is also a musician might get a tattoo of a musical note coloured by the six shades of the rainbow flag.
- Human Rights Campaign; Establishing an Allies/Safe Zone Program; 2011
- glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture; Jett, Joan; Teresa Theophano; 2002
- glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, & Queer Culture; American Television, Drama; Nathan G. Tipton; 2002