There are two kinds of people in this world, pride jewelry people, and non-pride jewelry people. While some of us will refuse to wear a rainbow, others boast bejeweled nipple rings.
However, Los Angeles-based designer Carlos Antonio hopes to bridge the gap and give back to his community. The 31-year-old recently unveiled the “Fight for Equality” pendant. The pendant, a clenched fist made of silver benefits Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Fund (TCF), Give A Damn (GAD), and the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER).
“I have been designing jewelry for seven years. I studied sculpture, then ended up casting my own pieces,” Antonio told SFGN. “The stylists, at Barney’s New York Beverly Hills, where I worked, admired the pieces I made and asked me where to get them, when I told them I made them the stylists started to buy them from me.”
After that Antonio was courted by Hollywood stylists, to cast specific pieces for movies and television. When his friend and mentor of several years, Chad Griffith, founder of AFER, launched the lawsuit to overturn Prop 8 in San Francisco, Antonio wanted to support the cause.
“I started to wonder how I could get involved with equality through my genre, making jewelry,” said Antonio.
Rather than a generic piece, or the rainbow flag, which the artist agreed is slightly ubiquitous, Antonio wanted to create something empowering. The piece, a clenched fist, above the equality symbol’s equal sign, has the weight of German Expressionism, which during the early 20th century chronicled social injustices through art.
“The purpose for the pendant and the Fight For Equality symbol, is to build solidarity in out fight. I wanted to create a symbol that was empowering to both gay people and our straight allies, in a modern way. The back of the pendant reads fight with knowledge. The clenched fist is always a symbol of empowerment, but it also works for the outside looking in,” said Antonio.
By “outside looking in” the artist means heterosexuals who support our fight for marriage equality.
The neutral look of the stainless steel pendant means that straight people are also buying it, such as Jason Mraz who feels it is a disgrace that two people of the same sex willing to make a commitment cannot marry in the United States. Other celebrities donning the pendant are Kristin Cavallari, Gavin Creel, Wilson Cruz, Tristan Prettyman, and Danny Teeson.