Meaning of the Safe Zone Symbol:

In the Nazi concentration camps, prisoners were classified according to their "crimes." Jews, for example, wore a yellow star (compound of two triangles); a pink triangle was assigned to gay men. Sadly, after World War II, the people in concentration camps wearing yellow stars and political prisoners were released, while wearers of the pink triangle remained imprisoned for years afterwards.


This triangle has since become an international symbol for awareness of the hatred and fear, which continue to oppress lesbian/gay persons, and by extensions, bisexuals and transgender persons. Display of the pink triangle signifies both the acknowledgement of gay oppression and the pride that comes from positive acceptance of homosexuality as a part of the human experience. The pink triangle, therefore, symbolizes gay pride and awareness of gay issues.


Safe Zone SymbolA red circle with a diagonal slash is popular symbol meaning "No" or "Don't". The green circle serves as the opposite, inviting conversation and attitudes that affirm non-heterosexual persons. The green circle also represents a peaceful environment. The triangle and circle denote, "This person has had Safe Zone Training; it's okay to talk about gay issues wherever the symbol is displayed."


People have asked which way to display the triangle: pointing up or down. There is no definitive answer. It depends on what you are trying to say. Pointing the triangle downward, as the homosexuals in Nazi prison camps wore them, is to remind people of the suffering that homosexuals faced in the concentration camps. A second approach is to point the triangle upward. This is viewed by some as a positive symbol of hope and the upward struggle of gays, lesbians, bi-sexual, and transgender people in society today.


The USF Safe Zone Symbol:

Our Safe Zone symbol incorporates both the traditional pink triangle and the green circle with the addition of a few original USF elements. A yellow disc is added to the background to reflect the school colors of USF. Bullhorns further identify the symbol as a distinctive representation of our school.