Getting a tattoo can be one of the most meaningful experiences for a queer person because the process affirms one’s values and how they’d like to be perceived. By choosing tattoo designs that speak to the LGBTQIA experience, people give visibility to themselves and others and help represent a community that’s becoming increasingly accepted. Now, that’s not to say there’s still not plenty of work to do, but we can celebrate the progress we’ve made.
We decided to take a deep dive into LGBTQ+ tattoos to get a better understanding of what folks are getting to show pride these days. We noticed some trends along the way and expect to see them represented on this list. As always, rainbows are a popular choice but additionally, we found that hearts, pop culture references, and plenty of camp end up in ink. There were some surprises, but tons of the goodness you’d expect from a community committed to love and acceptance. Here are 25 LGBTQ+ tattoos that illustrate a wide range of views, loves, perspectives, and interests. Let’s get gay!
Come through, rainbow dancer! Here’s a pride tattoo that hails all the way from South Korea. We love the sharp detail and vibrant colors here. The shape of the design makes it look so alive.
A Pineapple for Two
Pineapple pride! We love this ombre fruit that’s got a heart tucked inside. Are we all feeling fruity? You better believe it.
Watercolor tattoos are big in the queer community and for good reason. The form rejects coloring inside the lines or strict black and white. Also, they’re a great way to incorporate all the colors of the rainbow.
If you’re a bit of a goth gay, feel free to stay on-brand with a tattoo that’s bold and black and right to the point. We adore this queer tattoo in a funky font.
You’re a magical unicorn and that’s why people love you. This polkadot be-speckled unicorn has plenty of candy-tinged color to bring it to life. A banner reading “born this way” seals the deal. Glitter and be gay!
Judy, Judy, Judy
Judy Garland is a gay icon and was so beloved that members of the queer community used the coded language, “friend of Dorothy” to let others know that we’re all part of the same family. Dorothy refers to the character Garland played in The Wizard of Oz. The upside-down triangle in the background has been a symbol of pride and solitude for decades. Bravo! This is so sweet!
We won’t get into details, but this is one mighty fine queer tattoo that’s going to speak to a lot of people. This is sort of an inside joke, but if you meditate on it long enough we’re sure you’ll put it together.
Are you feeling it? We can get behind this rainbow and its fabulousness. If you’re going to go full color, this is how it’s done.
We are very much into this wavy love tattoo that features a bunch of colors and looks vaguely 3D. Love is love!
Yes, we did need this tattoo of some lesbian lovers. This design is pretty traditional which makes it all the more exciting when you consider its subject matter. Celebrate love that’s true.
Tom of Finland was known for his hyper masculine homoerotic art. We find a nod to it with this very tidy black tattoo.
Awake and alive is a great way to describe living your most authentic life. The artist who shared the image wrote that this is a handpoked tattoo. It’s impeccable!
Keith Haring Bop
Keith Haring created lively pop art that represented many different aspects of the queer community. Here, we find a tattoo inspired by his work. It’s a party!
The equality symbol represents the fight for equal rights under the law and in society writ large. We love this sketchy watercolor take on it.
We cannot get enough of these lesbian lover pieces. As if one heart wasn’t enough to show just how much love there is, the artist has included fill that looks like heart wallpaper.
Here, we find a deconstructed trans pride flag that’s absolutely remarkable. The colors of blue and pink bleed together here to represent this particular individual’s identity as a nonbinary person. Very thoughtful design!
“Sissy That Walk” is a song by the one and only RuPaul. We cherish this tribute to it and all of the wonderful pastel inks used to achieve this design.
Can’t Get Enough of It
We’ve seen plenty of queer love on this list and this seventies-kissed design is a wonder. Members of the LGBTQIA+ community really do have a thing for hearts and polka dots.
Where’s the Lie?
One last heart and some dazzling little polkadots here. “Gender is a construct” is a fundamental concept in queer and feminist theory. Who knew it would make for such a spectacular tattoo?
While not a heart, this person couldn’t help but go for the little dots, because, why not? A trans pride flag with the word “proud” over it really works.
Wave That Flag
Show your pride and never hide! You can’t go wrong with a rainbow and if it’s a watercolor tattoo, you know you’re doing it right.
The cheery flowers around this lesbian love tattoo bring a lot of warmth to the overall design. You can’t go wrong with flowers!
Why do we love dots so much? We’re not complaining, but it’s a recurring theme. These rainbow dots are handsome and a subtle way to show love and acceptance.
This very traditional tattoo is just like one you’d find on many soldiers decades ago. Instead of the American flag, we find the eagle carrying a pride flag which makes it instantly more attractive! If you’re into this Americana style, you can still get gay with it!
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The Stonewall Riots are considered by many as the start of the gay liberation and LGBTQ rights movement in modern America. This amazing tattoo pays tribute to those who fought, protested, and gave their all to give us the rights we enjoy today.
There you go! We hope this gay tattoos inspired you to consider getting one for yourself. It’s important to show and feel your pride all year long and a tattoo might be just the thing to remind you that you’re fabulous.
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
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