Getting a tattoo has become incredibly common nowadays, and what was once a rebellious rite of passage has now become a trendy thing to do for everyone, from celebrities to neighbourhood moms. In fact, a new poll has revealed that almost 40 percent of adults aged 18 to 29 have at least one tattoo. But for most of the LGBTQ community, getting a tattoo is more than just having a piece of permanent art on their skin– it’s an outright expression of identity and individuality. Moreover, some tattoo designs are widely favoured by queer tattoo enthusiasts as they serve as a reminder to always choose love and acceptance even though we’re living through a divisive time. If you’re planning to get inked sometime this year, here are some tattoo ideas to celebrate Pride throughout your life.

A Rainbow Tattoo

The rainbow flag has been the symbol of LGBTQ pride since 1978, and this is why so many people who are part of, or who support the community, choose to have all six colours inked into their bodies. But apart from the standard rainbow shape, there are other ways to have all these vibrant colours tattooed onto your skin. You can have a small bow tattoo inked behind your ear or nape, or a long winding ribbon-style tattoo with all the colours of the rainbow tattooed on your wrist or around your upper arm. You may also ask your tattoo artist to turn a simple black tattoo, such as a heartbeat tattoo, into a colourful one, or have rainbow dots inked on the space above your elbows or under your collarbones.

Iconic LGBTQ quote tattoos

If you choose to have a quote tattoo, pick one that has significance or meaning in your life rather than just a trendy phrase that will age badly with time. Perhaps consider Ru Paul’s famous quote which goes “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” or Harvey Milk’s line from his iconic hope speech which goes “Hope will never be silent.” The classic “Love is love” also works for everybody, no matter what your gender identity is. Quote tattoos look best on the ribs, thighs, hips, arms, and the back, so apart from choosing a quote, make sure to pick the right placement too for maximum impact.

An inclusive twist on the classic

Other tattoos that make an instant impact are those that seem familiar at first glance, but upon closer inspection, bears a clever twist. You’ve probably seen lots of dragon tattoos before, but what about a fierce dragon with rainbow wings or rainbow flames coming out of its mouth? Or perhaps you’ve seen a wonderfully created tattoo of a kissing couple, but what about a silhouette of gay men kissing? For best results, have a tattoo artist draw or sketch the tattoo redesign first on paper so you can see what it looks like before committing to have it on your skin. 

Celebrate pride throughout your life by getting inked with these tattoo ideas. Remember to carefully choose a design and tattoo placement at least weeks before your tattoo appointment, and have it done by a licensed tattoo artist so you can enjoy your brilliant and colourful ink for many years.