With the Gay Pride season well and truly upon us, 2024 is going to be a bumper Pride year. After all the lockdown disappointments of the recent past, UK Pride is going to be bigger and better than ever with more than 250 events expected this year. OutUK correspondent Ryan Faas has been reflecting on the annual summer gay must-have - a Pride Tattoo.

Like most outdoor summer gatherings Pride parades and festivals are an excellent time for those of us with ink to show it off and for anyone who likes admiring tattoo art to see everything from small Chinese characters to intricate full body designs on people of all types and ages.

A Gay Pride tattoo can be inspiring for you as well as others, no matter what kind of symbol it is. An equal sign, a rainbow, or a color heart - they all represent similar emotions.

At various Pride events I've already attended this year, I noticed many more people than ever before sporting some type of Pride symbol tattoo.

While I don't remember seeing any more than one rainbow triangle on a guy's left butt-cheek and a couple of double male symbols in previous years (both of which inspired me to get my now year-old stylised rainbow triangle on my left bicep), recently I've spotted not only a greater number of Pride markings but also a much greater variety.

Ryan's own Pride tattoo. Photo by Ryan Faas.
Tattoo by Lark St. Tattoo.
I met three men with variations of the double male symbol, my favourite being one where one of the symbols was a very basic, block solid black and the other was creatively loose and flowing (almost resembling a stylised lighting bolt) and rainbow coloured. Both the design and the workmanship were incredible.

I also spotted a few people with tattoos of their zodiac sign that were stylised with rainbow colouring. I found this to be a nice blend of a meaningful personal symbol and gay Pride in a single tattoo. For the same reason, and being a yoga student, I liked the look of the one woman who had a rainbow "om" symbol tattooed on the nape of her neck.

Probably the most creative and impressive example of Pride ink that I have seen belongs to a friend of a friend. She was sporting a very detailed new tattoo on her left shoulder of a naked and anatomically correct female angel with rainbow coloured wings.

From teeny tiny rainbows on your wrist, to multi-coloured beams that stretch across your whole arm, these are the rainbow tattoo ideas and designs you need to show your Pride all year round. Because love is love.

Pride Month is a time to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community, affirm our identities, reflect on the inequalities of the past and present, and take meaningful action to create change. In 2024, everyone deserves to bring their authentic self to work, regardless of their sexual orientation.

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This month of June is a time to inspire your colleagues. Celebrate the power of the LGBTQIA+ community with an empowering playlist! Ask everyone you work with to add in their favourite song to honour Pride Month. Then, everyone can listen in during the month of June and all year round!

To help get you started, here are a few empowering songs to include on your Pride Month Playlist:

    📀 Iím Coming Out by Diana Ross
    💿 Honey by Kehlani
    📀 Good As Hell by Lizzo
    💿 Montero (Call Me By Your Name) by Lil Nas X
    📀 True Colors by Cyndi Lauper
    💿 Vogue by Madonna

As someone who is proud to have a Pride tattoo myself, I find it to be an incredible way to express comfort and joy and (of course) Pride in my sexuality and community. For me, contemplating the tattoo made me realise that I had truly found my way past any shame associated with being gay. It was one of the most liberating experiences of my life.

However, like any tattoo, I don't suggest that it's right for everyone. If you are thinking about having a Pride tattoo find a way to individualise the design.

Every tattoo should be a personal expression and combining a rainbow theme with some other personal symbol can make a Pride tattoo even more special to you as well as interesting to others. It serves as a way of expressing who you are in addition to being gay, a way of combining your sexuality with other unique characteristics of who you are as a person.

For those of you who aren't sure there's always the possibility of getting yourself a temporary tattoo - and whilst those tend to be more-mass market than deeply personal they do allow you to enter into the spirit of things, albeit briefly. There are many outlets nowadays that sell them.

But remember, the regular tattoos are permanent, so if you are thinking about one, be it a Pride or other symbol, take care in choosing one that is right for you and follow your artist's instruction on caring for it. Have a long hard think about it and make sure your tattoo is just right for you.

Pride Month is a time for the LGBTQIA+ community and allies to come together in celebration, solidarity, activism, reflection, and support of all LGBTQIA+ people which ever part of community you relate to - Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual or Agender, or someone else who fits in more with the plus.

Photo: Tim from Washington D.C. USA
CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Photo: heb@Wikimedia Commons (mail)
CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
While a Pride Parade or Pride March are often part of a week long or even month Pride celebration in many towns and cities, thereís more to this holiday than parades! Pride can be a meaningful time to learn about the historical and present struggles, and social exclusion of LGBTQIA+ people. Pride Month is celebrated most often during the whole month of June.
Photo: Tom Morris
CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Whatever tattoo you decide on, if you have one - Enjoy your Pride!


The Progress Pride Flag
created by Daniel Quasar
OutUK has several other features which celebrate our Pride including:
  • 2024 Pride Events around the UK
  • Why celebrating Pride is important
  • Enjoying cartoons that celebrate Pride
  • The origins of the Pride Flag

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