Are you looking for the best queer and lesbian tattoo ideas? Then this is the perfect article for you! From rainbows to matching couple tattoos, to more explicit tattoos!
The LGBTQ community has a long history with tattoos. Tattoos were even used for secret messages – people chose to tattoo iconic LGBT symbols on themselves to be recognized by other LGBT people.
And in a way that might still be the appeal for lesbians and queer people these days. Tattoos help with being visible. Or maybe it’s simply because tattoos are a way to make a statement about who you are and how you feel.
There has always been a stigma on tattoos (my mum still thinks tattoos are mutilation of the body), but over recent years, public opinion is shifting. Tattoos don’t always have to be radical, they can be aesthetic, cute even! Tattoos have officially become mainstream popular!
Your body is a blank canvas, don’t be afraid to express yourself
Disclaimer: tattoo designs may be protected by copyright! The person who designs the tattoo has intellectual property rights if the piece meets the requirements for artistic copyright.
Tattooed Lesbians & Queer Babes
In order to find popular lesbian tattoos, I have asked over 20 tattooed babes to share the story of one of their queer/lesbian tattoos! We have categorized them by theme.
- Small Rainbow Tattoo
Sarah (she/her) has 3 tattoos, got first at 22.
A couple of months ago, I got myself a small minimalistic rainbow tattoo, because I really love this kind of delicate tattoos. I wanted to get something gay related for quite some time now and I’m happy with the way it turned out.
It’s not only freaking cute but also stands for this awesome community that I am glad to be a part of and I hope it can serve as a reminder that we are here and queer, especially for all the still closeted people that might see it and feel less alone.
- Self Love Tattoo
Sade Giliberti (she/her) has 21 tattoos, got first at 16.
All my tattoos are all my favourite but my most favourite is my Buddha on my arm. It was a birthday present to myself shortly after a break up.
I was getting back in tune with my spirituality, and really practising self-love again. Plus the tattoo artist really rocked it!!
Alysse Dalessandro Santiago (she/her/hers) has 4 tattoos, got first at 19.
My favorite tattoo is also my most recent one. It’s a small candy heart on the side of my wrist that says “me”. This is a self-love letter and a play on old school tattoos where someone else had their significant other’s name in a heart tattooed on them.
I got this tattoo in New York City with 4 friends who also got the same tattoo while we were all together for CurvyCon. We decided we wanted to get tattoos and when I said this self-love tattoo was one I had been thinking about getting, the whole group decided to get them.
Your tattoos don’t have to be big to be meaningful, but they should serve as a lifelong reminder of something you continue to work on. For me, this tattoo represents my commitment to self-love.
Ayelen van Brummelen (she/her) has >50 tattoos (but not enough yet), got first at 17.
I did this tattoo on myself, the meaning of my tattoo is that I finally can accept myself for who I am.
Acceptance is one of the hardest things I had to do but it will take me further in life and I know that it will make my journey of life a lot easier.
Read our best tips for coming out as LGBTQ+
- Flower Tattoo
Azucena Palomares (she/her) has 6 tattoos, got first at 22.
This tattoo is a half face with a lilly and a sunflower blooming from the top.
I got it because my mind is always blooming/thinking and the reason for the lilly is that my name “Azucena” is a type of lilly and the sunflower because my parents love sunflowers.
- Animal Tattoo
Saima (she/her) has 11 tattoos, got first at 19.
My most recent tattoo is a lion on my left thigh. My mom is a Leo and I really wanted to get something that represented her and her strength and fierceness. I also love sacred geometry and I wanted something colorful to mirror my mom’s colorful personality.
My friend Ruby is a tattoo artist that specializes in watercolor style tattoos, so I knew I wanted her to bring my vision to life by combining all these elements together. I love the way it came out and the strong presence it has on my body.
Tattoos have a power and magic all their own. They decorate the body but they also enhance the soul.
Bobbie Long (she/her) has 12 tattoos, got first at 18.
I’d have to say my favorite tattoo is the tiger on my left forearm. A beautiful traditional/Thai inspired design by an incredible artist. This piece marks the time when I truly accepted my ടexuality.
What more prominent piece but a fierce tiger symbolizing courage and strength. After years of hiding, I finally had the courage to be my authentic self.
- Women Tattoo
Jessica Cleani (she/her) has 4 tattoos, got first at 20.
My second tattoo was a minimalistic art of a woman that describes my ടexual orientation. The reason I got this tattoo was to show myself and the world that I love the woman’s curves and the woman itself. It shows that I’m a proud lesbian and don’t need to be ashamed of it.
Sioejeng Tsao (she/her) has 26 tattoos, got first at 18.
This is my own illustration on my arm, the first tattoo of one of my own works is kinda special!
I started off with very beautiful tattoos and slowly adding funny ones as a reminder to never take life too seriously, and we as women don’t need to be only pretty for the male gaze.
It’s always a good day for a new tattoo
- Sleeve Tattoos
Gaia (she/her) has 20 tattoos, got first at 23.
I love my left sleeve. 2 faces, one inner forearm and one on the outer side of the arm, and the background (trees mostly). I wanted those specific faces because they are 2 women that remind me every day to stay strong.
Rich Harris is the artist of my Lexa’s (made in 2017) and Ivan Trapiani is the artist of my Cristina Scabbia’s face and the rest of the background (I did it 2 months ago).
Every single tattoo I have means something to me.
Kirstie (she/her) has 11 tattoos, got first at 16.
I drew this tattoo to represent the places I’ve lived. I was born in Tennessee and grew up in San Francisco. There are Tennessee mocking birds and the Nashville skyline. There are also California poppies and the Golden Gate Bridge! I love this tattoo because it represents the places that shaped me into being who I am.
Zenobia Philippe (she/they) has 14 tattoos, got first at 17.
All my tattoos are either lessons, passions, or for family and I try to put a lot of thought into each one. I think the one that’s most meaningful and I reread the most is my paintbrush can tattoo. It’s a big reminder to me to always love myself inside and out even when I struggle to so.
- Meaningful Words + Quotes Tattoo
Jess Guilbeaux (she/her) has 7 tattoos, got first at 22.
My most meaningful tattoo is my tattoo with the words “Last Hope” on my right inner bicep. “Last Hope” is the name of my favorite song from my favorite band, Paramore.
That song got me through homelessness and rejection. It kept hope alive and reminded me that to survive, all I need to do is to keep going.
Kasey (she/her) has > 40 tattoos, got first at 18.
I was 21 years old when I first heard the song “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga. I instantly connected and identified with the lyrics. I remember it made me feel seen and even more confident in my queerness. Also, I was very proud to have such a talented artist whom I’d admired so much use her platform to represent us gays so unapologetically!
Without hesitation, I knew I wanted those lyrics on my body. I chose my back because even when my back is turned people can read that and be reminded that their judgments will never affect me or change who I am! Because baby, I was born this way!!
These are the best lesbian songs of all time!
Allie (she/her) has 4 tattoos, got first at 17.
My first tattoo I got when I was 17 – my dad took me! It says: say yes to life. It’s on my ankle! I love it so much and it always reminds me to say yes to opportunities!!
Ink my, ink my whole body, ink my whole body
Got so many tats, you can’t even count ’em up
In the shop every week, I can’t seem to get enough
More Lesbian Tattoo Ideas
Yes, I have literally searched the interwebs for HOURS for more tattoo ideas. That how I decided to make another article about Pride tattoos (coming soon), but I want to share a few more specific lesbian tattoo ideas that I fell in love with.
- Scissors Tattoo
Okay, explicit tattoos like this aren’t for everyone! I find explicit ink so brave, I don’t have the courage for that just yet!
- Triangle Tattoo
Back in times of the Third Reich, the downward-pointing black triangle used to mark individuals considered “asocial”. The category included gay women, nonconformists, ടex workers, nomads, Romani, and others.
Many lesbians reclaimed this symbol for themselves as gay men reclaimed the pink triangle.
- Cat Tattoo
In case you like the puss, why not get one tattooed? There are actually way more, explicit designs to be found online if you’re into visualizing private parts or even organs.
- V Sign Tattoo
Yup, I just went there. I better call this the ‘explicit tattoo’ section. We all know what this sign means, right?! A V sign with fingers and tongue – it’s pretty clear.
- V Tattoo
Obviously, the V can mean a lot more! Maybe you want to symbolize peace. Or maybe you’re vegetarian/vegan! A simple V can be very pretty.
- Lipstick Tattoo
We don’t like labels too much, but we know LGBTQ+ labels can be really important to some people. In case you identify as a femme, lipstick lesbian, this is a way of telling the world! We bet it helps with the lesbian invisibility many femme lesbians have to deal with.
- Feminist Tattoo
Because we are all QUEENS! We love these feminist tattoo ideas.
- Trans + Non Binary Tattoo
But of course, not all lesbians nor queer women are cisgender female!
- Equality Tattoo
Because we all want to live in a world that’s more equal.
Lesbian Couple Tattoos + Matching Tattoos Ideas
Tattoos together, something to rememberLauv
If it’s way too soon, f*ck it, whatever
Give me shapes and letters
If it’s not forever, then at least we’ll have tattoos together
- Sun Tattoo
Alexia Lenoir (she/her) has 7 tattoos, got first at 17 & Aisha Shaibu (she/her) has 2 tattoos, got first at 29
Alexia: The one that is the most meaningful to me is the one I got with Aisha. We decided to get matching tattoos on Valentine’s Day of the sun, which represents our bright and beautiful love.
Aisha: My favourite tattoo is my first, on my wrist. It’s quite significant because my fiancée and I got the same tattoo. It’s a symbol of our commitment to another but also highlights how much joy we have created in each other’s lives.
- Travel Tattoo
Christine (she/her/hers) has 14 tattoos, got first at 15 (got a tattoo instead of a quinceanera).
I love all my tattoos because there is a story and experience to it but my favorite (today) is this minimalistic one-line piece I have. It’s one drawn line of a woman silhouette on my forearm.
I got her in Moalboal, Philippines during our backpacking trip throughout Asia. We went to a bar and met this amazing group of people and one of the guys happened to be one of the few tattoo artists in town.
I wanted a tattoo that represented strength and in a way, I saw myself in this minimal line piece. It represented my growth and pride. It was really scary for me to just let go of my life back home and embark on this 9-month backpacking trip with Kirstie but it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
My friend knew I wanted something ‘minimal’ and was able to capture everything I wanted in this tattoo. Every time I look at it, I think of how grateful I am to experience everything I have and to think where I am now. I think I’ll make it a tradition now to get one during each of our travels.
Read our ultimate lesbian travel guide!
- Date + Partner’s Initials/Name Tattoo
Cindy Castro (she/her) has 2 tattoos, got first at 29.
My favorite & most meaningful is my last one. It’s my partners name + our wedding date. I decided to get it because she’s the love of my life & I wanted to have her & our special day on me forever.
I was undecided on where to get it but the same I decided to get on my back because I feel she always has my back (she’s my #1 supporter).
Cole Allen (she/her) has too many tattoos to count, got first at 17.
My most meaningful tattoo is ‘A 1/9’ on the right side of my face. ‘1/9’ is the date I got married to my wife Kate & the ‘A’ is for ‘Allen’ – I don’t have any real family so once we had got married I finally felt like I belonged, and now had family, so I wanted a tattoo to symbolise that.
- ‘I Love You’ Tattoo (in Another Language)
Kate Allen (she/her) has too many tattoos to count, got first at 17.
The first tattoo Cole & I got together “Σ’ αγαπώ” which means I love you in greek. We had just moved to Corfu, Greece after being together for 4 months & we wanted something cute and matching.
So we got one of our Greek friends to translate for us. Probably one of the worst tattoos & weirdest experiences ever but it’s something we love and can look back on and laugh at!
- Zodiac Sign Tattoos
Roxanne Weijer (she/her) has 1 tattoo at age 23
I got my tattoo together with my girlfriend, in Japan! My tattoo is our zodiac signs (Cancer & Aries) intertwined, which are also the zodiac signs of my parents (and my stepmom).
Maartje Hensen (she/her) has 2 tattoos, got first at age 22
Hey, it’s me, the writer of this article! I wanted to get the same tattoo as Roxanne, but last minute I decided to change plans. I still got our signs tattooed, but represented in the stars (and intertwined).
My last tattoo is a 4-striped rainbow, representing by connection with my 3 siblings and my queerness.
- Lock + Key Tattoo
We had to add this one, because we find it too cute! When someone unlocks your heart – that’s so symbolic!
Tattoos are like love… beautiful and sometimes painful
Tattoo Pain Chart
Are you thinking of getting inked? Figuring the design is equally difficult as finding the perfect placement! You might want to consider this tattoo pain chart if you’re going for the first time.
Make Your Own Temporary Tattoo
Not ready to permanently commit yet? Or want to see how a tattoo might look? You can buy printable tattoo paper and create your own fake tattoos!
Tattoo Trends 2021
Looking to get inked in the new year? We have some insight into the tattoo trends of 2021! 2020 was the year of color, fine-line, objects, Korean-style, and peekaboo designs. In 2021, we will see a lot more:
- Small tattoos & micro tattoos
- Minimalist tattoos (simple line art, simple designs)
- Sentences, quotes, poems (not just a word)
- Mixed styles – like graphic tattoos, tattoos no longer have to fit ‘one style’
- Ear tattoos, hand tattoos, finger tattoos – more visible tattoos are getting more popular!
- And stick-and-poke tattoos will stay popular
Do you have any tattoos? Do you have more lesbian tattoo ideas to add? Tell us more!
- 20 Queer Female And Lesbian Artists To Satisfy Your Ears
- 24 Queer & Lesbian Celebrities You Must Follow on Instagram
- 25 Lesbian Scenes to Feed Your Fantasies
- 15 x The Best Free Lesbian Dating Apps
PIN THIS ARTICLE