The Pink Triangle is not merely a catchy icon, nor commercial shorthand to boost attendance at Gay Day at Disney World or the D.C. Pride Parade.

Although it has since become an emblem of gay pride, the Pink Triangle carries a more solemn symbolism. It was sewn onto the uniforms worn by an estimated 50,000 known or suspected homosexuals detained in Nazi concentration camps. After the war, when the concentration camps had been emptied and the prisoners released, gays were re-imprisoned for up to 20 years.

In this year’s Pink Triangle issue, we divide our coverage between the serious and the celebratory.

Steven Petrow illustrates how the United States and North Carolina have failed to protect the LGBT community from hate crimesand the dire, often deadly consequences of that failure, in his essay “They shoot gays, don’t they?

We also offer glimpses of LGBT movers and shakers in the Trianglealthough this is by no means an exhaustive list. Many not included here have graced our pages, like Durham blogger Pam Spaulding (Pam’s House Blend), who wrote a 2006 Pink Triangle memoir, “My, how things have changed since Stonewall,” and attorney Dan Ellison, who won a 2007 Indies Arts Award.

Also, see this week’s news for a story on anti-discrimination policies for state employees.

Our hope is that by reading these pieces you will realize that our sexual orientations need not divide us. We have more commonalities than differences. And more important, that at the end of the day, the abridgment of the rights for some equals an abridgment of rights for all. Lisa Sorg