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The first issue the newspaper of the National Gay Rights Coalition was published on the 14th of May, 1979. For its first issue, the title was simply “The newspaper of the National Gay Rights Coalition” while they sought a name. The second issue, published on 25th May 1979, featured its new name: Pink Triangle. That second issue also featured a text-heavy cover article, focussing on the history of the pink triangle, and its use during the Holocaust as, in the words of the writer, “the homosexual equivalent of the Jews’ yellow star”. Pink Triangle was published until 1990, and was an important voice for gay people in Aotearoa during a time of fundamental uncertainty and change.

To celebrate this foundational newspaper’s launch, we are publishing ‘pink triangle/yellow star’ by Zia Ravenscroft, a poem centred around the symbol from which the newspaper took its name.

Zia Ravenscroft

pink triangle/yellow star

pink triangle, yellow star
both of these are butterfly-knifed into my bones
fluttering in my ventricles are the hebrew words for queer
and i have to store them in my heart because my tongue can’t pronounce them anymore
the jewish god that i don’t even believe in is canonically nonbinary, removed from human limitations of gender
and my queerness often feels divine, my own daily act of creation
i wake up and i choose to be gayer than i was yesterday every single day
cut my sanctity out of me with a star of david until it runs sepulchral
i will not be forgiven. i have known this longer than i have been alive
yet there is nothing i can do but try
i got detention in year ten for asking about queer people in the holocaust
there has never been a place for me in history so i will carve my own
this is only the first issue and never the final goodbye
because it’s language, isn’t it, that defines us
language that connects us across the oceans, across time and space
astronomically astral and jading green together, the gardens of a transsexual babylon
meanings change and dialects shift and people migrate but the feeling is the same over continents and consonants
call me friend of dorothy and i’ll take you home, call me fairy and i’ll show you how my wings can glitter iridescent, incandescent, call me fruit and take a forbidden bite, call me pansy and watch me bloom into the sun, call me ‘the artistic type’ and paint me a rainbow with pink and turquoise
(we really need to put sex and magic back on the pride flag)
and every one is another way to say that i love, and i love, and i love
my name means light, or shine, or splendour
i am stabbing my way out of the darkness and into the homosexual future fantasy
i’m your favourite boytoy in the city of the queen of angels, an earring magic ken doll stepping out of the torah
and they don’t tell you this at synagogue but jesus was a freaky crossdresser from hell!
i taught myself to read when i was three and first called myself queer ten years later
i speak the same words as sappho, as oscar wilde, as abu nuwas
i first held a pen because i couldn’t hold your hand
the only way i learnt to love myself was by writing about it
on a page, on my arm, in the notes app on my phone, buried with sequins in my blood
i am not feminine or masculine: i am eros, god of whatever the fuck you want me to be
so come on boygirls and butches and twinks, cyborgs and cowboys and mermaids, we’re going intergalactic!
running out of the closet and into the cosmos, and don’t cry, okay? every star in the sky is another gay person and they’re coming with us
we’re not forcing our way into heaven, because i was always destined for hellfire, and there wouldn’t be blue eyeshadow there anyway
we’re not making our own afterlife, there’s far too much living to do on this planet
and i am never going to die because my transness is immortal
let’s reincarnate. let’s reinvent. let’s renaissance, and yes, by beyoncé.
god loved me so much he made me twice and gave me a choice
and i thank my ancestors every day that i made the right one

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Zia Ravenscroft (they/he) is a trans and queer student, zine-maker, actor, and writer based in Wellington. He’s not like other boys – he’s worse. @literallymetaphorical

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