Object 1: Louis Tomlinson’s Triangle Tattoo

May 27, 2021


Louis Tomlinson had this triangle tattooed on his ankle around 2016 and is controversial because some queer fans see it as a hint at his sexuality, as the triangle is used often in queer spaces and spaces. However, some fans outside of the queer community classify the tattoo as simply a trendy minimalistic shape with no meaning.

The tattoo is interesting because Tomlinson, who is very active on social media and often leaves cryptic hints for his fans, has never spoken about the meaning of the tattoo. He has shown over his 10 years in the music industry that he is not afraid to call people out publicly when he disagrees with their perception of him. This suggests that he is both aware of and accepts the rumors. Moreover, in 2020, Tomlinson was a guest in an episode of a recurring series on GQ Magazine’s youtube channel in which celebrities explain their tattoos. In the video, Tomlinson addresses a few of his dozens of tattoos, not including the mysterious triangle. Most of his explanations boil down to forgotten meanings, leaving fans to wonder why he agreed to feature in the series at all.

The tattoo is most often discussed by fans who are members of the LGBTQ+ community in the context of queercoding. The pink triangle was first used as a symbol during the holocaust when homosexual or suspected homosexual prisoners in concentration camps had it sewn onto their uniforms. It has been reclaimed by the LGBTQ+ community recently to show gay pride and is often showcased in queer art and tattoos for that purpose. This explains why many of Louis Tomlinson’s queer fans have interpreted his tattoo as a sign of his sexuality. From an outside perspective, however, the tattoo appears to be a simple shape with no meaning. Within the LGBTQ+ community, it carries a deeper meaning due to past knowledge and significance. While this knowledge currently belongs to the LGBTQ+ community, it is not necessarily meant to stay this way. History is available to everyone if they are willing to learn and share.

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