These top 10 gay monuments around the world are a must-see for every gay traveler who is interested in LGBTQ+ history. From the United States and Germany to Israel and The Netherlands, many of these monuments are the first of their kind in their respective country. The pieces of art each tell a story of the LGBTQ community - from the pain and suffering endured, to memories of those lost, and the triumph of finally achieving equality. These gay monuments are a powerful way to tell the world about the hardships faced by the LGBTQ community, and how far gay rights have come over the last 300 years.
While it may be difficult to see every gay monument on this list, visiting even those that are closest to home will provide an exciting trip. These works of art share a glimpse into occurrences that even the greatest of history buffs may be unaware of - and may, in fact, change the viewpoints of those opposed to equality. Having a glimpse of what the LGBTQ+ community faced in years past is a unique and moving experience for members of the community. Witnessing the raw beauty of gay monuments around the world is an unbeatable way to feel thankful to live in today's society, where the world is finally coming to terms with equality and general LGBTQ+ acceptance. Those in previous generations who fought for rights that are just now beginning to come to light, deserve honor and recognition - and these gay monuments offer that.
Homomonument – Amsterdam, Netherlands
Opened in 1987, the Homomonument was the first monument in the world to commemorate gays and lesbians persecuted by Nazis. The monument comprises three pink triangles (the symbol used to "mark" a homosexual) arranged to make a larger triangle. The monument was designed to inspire members of the LGBTQ community in their fight against discrimination.
Memorial to Homosexuals Persecuted Under Nazism – Berlin, Germany
Opened in 2008, the Memorial to Homosexuals Persecuted Under Nazism explains the suffering experienced by homosexuals during Nazism. The monument is a large concrete cube with a window on one side, through which a short film of two men kissing can be seen. The nearby sign (written in German and English) details persecutions during Nazism, and laws against homosexuality.
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Holocaust Monument – Sydney, Australia
Opened in 2001, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Holocaust Monument serves as a memorial to homosexuals persecuted during Nazism. The pink triangular prism, intersected by a triangle of black poles, draws from symbols used during Nazism (pink triangle to "mark" gay men, black triangle for lesbians) - and appears as a fractured Star of David. The monument symbolizes individual resilience and strength.
Gay Liberation Monument – NYC, USA
Completed in 1980, the Gay Liberation Monument was originally installed in Wisconsin in 1986, but was later moved to New York in 1992. It is considered the first piece of public art dedicated to LGBTQ rights. The monument consists of four (two standing men and two seated women) bronze statues covered in white lacquer, posed in "natural, easy" poses. The monument was constructed to commemorate events during the Stonewall Riots. It’s a few meters away from the Stonewall Inn, where everything began in June 1969.
Kiss Wall – Brighton, UK
Opened in 1992, the Kiss Wall is an iconic seafront sculpture depicting equality for all. The vertical aluminum column displays six pictures of people of different ages and genders kissing, which were transferred to a dot screen and drilled into the column. Looking out towards the sea, the light travels through the holes, giving it a beautiful pop art effect.
The Sexual Diversity Place – Montevideo, Uruguay
Erected in 2005, the Sexual Diversity Place is the first monument in South America dedicated to the rights and equality of all sexual orientations. A square monument covered in modern graffiti, it is engraved with the strong message "Honoring diversity is honoring life."
Gay and Lesbian Monument – Barcelona, Spain
Unveiled in 2011, the Gay and Lesbian Monument is the first monument in Spain dedicated to recognizing the persecution and repression of gays and lesbians. The pink triangular shape is universally recognized as a symbol for homosexuals, and the monument is constructed of pink marble. The inscription written in Spanish, translates to “In memory of all the gay, lesbian and transsexual people that have suffered persecution and repression throughout history."
Gay Memorial Stone – Paris, France
Unveiled in 2014, the Gay Memorial Stone is a remembrance of the last two men executed in France (in 1750) for being gay. A plaque honoring the two men - Bruno Lenoir and Jean Diot, who were burned alive at the stake - is embedded in the pavement at the intersection of Rue Montorgueil and Rue Bachaumont - where the two were caught by police.
Memorial to Gay Holocaust Victims – Tel Aviv, Israel
First unveiled in 2014, the Memorial to Gay Holocaust Victims is the first monument in Israel dedicated to homosexual Holocaust victims. The monument is located in the city center and is designed around a pink triangle. Inscriptions on the monument read (in English, Hebrew, and German) "In memory of those persecuted by the Nazi regime for their sexual orientation and gender identity."
Frankfurter Engel – Frankfurt, Germany
Opened in 1994, the Frankfurter Engel was the first monument of its kind in Germany. The statue is in the form of an angel and has an inscription at the bottom in German, which translates to "Homosexual men and women were persecuted and murdered in Nazi Germany. The crimes were denied, the dead concealed, the survivors scorned and prosecuted. We remember this, in the awareness that men who love men and women who love women still face persecution."
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