The Bittersweet Reason People Are Now Wearing #SafetyPins

Following Brexit, Great Britain saw a rise in racially motivated hate crimes. After the U.S. named Donald Trump its president-elect, similar stories of ignorant violence and hate speech began to spread online and IRL.

Fearful of what the coming administration could mean for their way of life, women, people of color, immigrants, members of the LGBTQ community and more are battening down the hatches. A movement has begun to help transgender individuals secure name changes and official IDs before January 20, 2017 (Inauguration Day). Women are considering IUDs. Muslim girls are leaving their hijabs at home.

After the Brexit vote, many British people began wearing safety pins as a means of showing their support for those who felt threatened by the current social climate. Although safety pins are often associated with antiestablishmentarianism (think Harley Quinn, the punk movement), in this case, the message was purely one of tolerance, support and respect for the marginalized. Safety pin = “you’re safe with me.”

Now, Americans are borrowing the visual symbol from their similarly aggrieved peers across the pond. “It’s simple because you don’t have to go out and buy it, there’s no language or political slogans involved,” Allison, the woman who started the #safetypin movement, told Indy100. “It’s just a little signal that shows people facing hate crimes that they’re not alone and their right to be in the U.K. [or U.S.] is supported.”

Now, “safe allies” everywhere are taking social media by storm.

It’s a small but meaningful gesture and the influx of tweets, Snapchats and Instagrams from across America is inspiring — and reassuring — to see.

For those who wish to show their support but are as anal about holes in their clothes and susceptible to fake-jewelry-induced infections as we are, a few alternatives:

Loren Stewart Triangle Safety Pin Single Earring, $132 at Need Supply.

Loren Stewart Triangle Safety Pin Single Earring, $132 at Need Supply; Image: Need Supply

…If you’re partial to rose gold.

Gillian Conroy Gold Safety Pin Earring, $275 at Catbird.

Gillian Conroy Gold Safety Pin Earring, $275 at Catbird; Image: Catbird

…If you’re more of a purist.

Sterling Silver Safety Pin Earring, $18.99 at Etsy.

Sterling Silver Safety Pin Earring, $18.99 at Etsy; Image: Etsy

…Because the point is not to spend money, but make a statement.

[ via the Cut ]