Last update:
August 7th

the lounge pinback

corner GLTB Pinback buttons Collection corner


GLBT Pintack Buttons Collection
Button back

A pin-back button or pinback button, pin button, button badge, or simply pin-back or badge, is someting that can be temporarily fastened to the surface of a garment using a safety pin, or a pin formed from wire, a clutch or other mechanism. This fastening mechanism is anchored to the back side of a button-shaped metal disk, either flat or concave, which leaves an area on the front of the button to carry an image or a printed message. The word is commonly associated with a campaign button used during a political campaign. The first design for a pin-back button in the United States was patented in 1896, and contemporary buttons have many of the same design features.

Political buttons have been used in the United States since the first presidential inauguration in 1789, when George Washington's supporters wore buttons imprinted with a slogan. These early buttons were sewn to the lapel of a coat or worn as a pendant on a string.The first campaign buttons with photographs of were produced to promote the political platform of Abraham Lincoln in 1860.

One of the most invigorating struggles of our time has been the fight to secure dignity and legal protection from the law for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans. In the modern era, the history of gay awareness can be said to start with Oscar Wilde, and the progressive engagement for human rights has had many ups and downs, the rambunctious disco/bath-house 1970s followed by the harrowing advent of AIDS in the early 1980s.

The last 12 years or so has seen AIDS somewhat corralled by the medical community as well as the institutionalization of gay marriage in the federal legal code.

The LGBT History can be traced also through the LGBT buttons. and even the briefest perusal yields an emotionally resonant wave of memories and associations. Only a small percentage of the buttons are shown in this collection, but over time and with your help, it will add up. The struggle continues to this day, as legal rulings are issued addressing the right of trans people to use restrooms of the appropriate gender (unfortunately largely as backlash to the progressive position).

But, let’s not beat around the bush, pin-back buttons have had such a long life also because they are fun for young and old alike. Whether you are advertising a pride march, a worthy cause, a political candidate or poking fun at the human psyche, pin-back buttons make us smile. They are the message boards of our soul, passions and zest for life.

It's our human nature to want to share our beliefs and passions with others. Pin-back buttons allow us to do so in a fun way that is always sure to invite interesting conversation. Buttons are also a fun way to fundraise or advertise for your Pride event. an easy way to epress onerself.

LGBT button, gay button, queer button... political, humorous, showing awareness and pride are a subtle way to express what we would like to communicate. Moreover, pin buttons are an effective and highly-visible item, easily wearable. People love wearing buttons. They can be attached to t-shirts, suit lapels, ties, backpacks, to any jacket or tote.

Pin buttons are like bumper stickers for people! They have become an essential product for political campaigns, but they have many other uses as well. Numerous awareness and pride campaigns take advantage of pin buttons' effectiveness as a high-visibility, wearable item. People love wearing buttons because they often act as a "badge of honor", a clear show of support for an idea they feel passionately about. Others simply enjoy buttons as a fashion piece, or clever catchphrases.

On the one hand, buttons are inherently public displays, placed on jackets and bags to be seen, read, and understood. On the other hand, they rarely are larger than an inch or two, requiring close contact and intimacy in order to be effective." Intimacy is a courageous and powerful tool in the face of ignorance - and so is humor. Wit, of course, is a coded language, and queer cultural producers throughout history have used theirs to lace straight-appearing storylines with metaphors of queerness. It is also prominent in overtly political discourse.

Surely sometimes a pin is nothing more than a charm. But clothing remains a powerful tool to represent one's values and ideals. The pin in essence is ornamental. Its potency lies precisely in this complete lack of function - its sole purpose is communication. Marginalized people advocating for their causes have long risked further harassment, violence and discrimination for expressing their demands, which includes voicing them via a enormous banner just as well as on a small lapel pin. Do they really mean what they are saying? More often than not, the soundest piece of advice might be: Examine the context, and believe what people tell you about themselves.


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