Sappho ring, a lesbian ring for lesbian and bisexual women

Sappho's Jewelry, A Lesbian Jewelry Brand

I was spending an unacceptable amount of time watching TikTok, a practice that had become a full-blown hobby. The TikTok algorithm is thankfully so advanced my feed for that app is 85 percent lesbian content. On this day, a piece of content caught my attention long enough not to scroll by. “As a femme, what are we doing to signal we are gay?” the video began. The last time I checked, that video had 5.5 million views.

The reason videos like this go viral is simple. They are completely relatable. The comment section of that video is undoubtedly what made it go viral. As I scrolled through the comments, I realized how dire the situation was and how much the female LGBT community truly longed for something we could universally wear to show our queerness. Women made all sorts of suggestions from tattoos to piercings to certain clothing. But I thought, “jewelry. We need jewelry. All we have are rainbows.”

As the owner of one rainbow ring and a rainbow watch band, I had succumbed to the desire to brand myself with a rainbow. But the reality was, I didn’t even like rainbows. There’s not a single solitary item of clothing I own that looks good with a rainbow. It’s a Saturday night, and I’ve decided to wear one of my favorite dresses with stilettos. Does that style sound like it would be complimented perfectly with a bright rainbow necklace? I think not.

And it’s not that I have anything against the rainbow. After all, my rainbow watch band had been the reason I secured a date with a professional athlete at a WNBA game. And there is powerful history behind the iconic rainbow. Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in the history of California, commissioned the symbol from an artist, Gilbert Baker, who was a Vietnam war veteran and drag performer. The rainbow flag was created by Baker in 1978 and flown for the first time at San Francisco’s Gay Freedom Day Parade on June 25, 1978.

“The different colors within the flag were meant to represent togetherness, since LGBT people come in all races, ages and genders, and rainbows are both natural and beautiful. The original flag featured eight colors, each having a different meaning. At the top was hot pink, which represented sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow signifying sunlight, green for nature, turquoise to represent art, indigo for harmony, and finally violet at the bottom for spirit.” (

While I embrace, love and respect the history and meaning behind the rainbow, this solo representation of our identity is limiting when we decide to wear jewelry.

After reading the comments on the TikTok and realizing the rainbow dilemma, I felt instantly motivated to create another iconic lesbian/bisexual/pansexual symbol.  And I was inspired by Sappho.

Sappho is regarded as one of the best lyric poets in history. Her poetry, which often explores themes of love and desire between women, has made her an emblematic figure for lesbian identity and the LGBTQ community.

The feminist movements of the 1960s and ‘70s brought Sappho to the forefront as a symbol of female strength and same-sex love, and her name and works were frequently cited in feminist and LGBTQ literature. She was born in ancient Greece on the island of Lesbos. Many in the LGBTQ community are not even aware that the word “sapphic,” which is used so frequently and refers to attraction between women, comes from our beloved Sappho. And the word “lesbian,” comes from her place of birth, Lesbos.

The existence of Sappho and her inspirations throughout lesbian culture were unknown to me until around 2022. When I was struck with the idea of creating another symbol for sapphic women that wasn’t a rainbow, I thought to myself, “Wearing the face of Sappho would be iconic.” And the concept felt like a secret club to me. There is a slim chance any woman outside of the community knows the word “sapphic,” much less its derivation from Sappho. I loved the idea of others in our community having the knowledge but no one else. This “secret” component also makes the jewelry a way to begin or end a conversation, as the case might be. The wearer has the choice to identify the jewelry as Sappho.

And so, Sappho’s Jewelry was born. My first design ever was the “Essence of Sappho” ring, which remains my favorite today. I have plans to use that same design for Christmas ornaments and a handbag line. The image you see here is my very first drawing of that ring. I keep it framed in my office. 

The ideas have flowed freely, and I’ve branched out beyond designs which only include her face. Although I believe the Signature line, those designs which specifically feature Sappho, will always be my favorites. I have forty designs in some process of production. I’ve designed beyond Sappho herself and created other designs such as some odes to contemporary words today, like the stud earrings with “Ledollar” for one ear and a bean for the other (a hashtag reference that social media aficionados will understand).

When designing all the collections, I think of my audience and what would resonate with them. I think of an ultra-feminine bi girlie to the more masculine presenting butches. While the idea for this brand came from being femme and wanting bold jewelry that screamed, “I’m gay,” I knew quickly I wanted to design for all LGBTQ women. For each of us, our journey is different, a unique experience unreplicated by any other person on the planet. I see this brand as a way for each of us to express that unique identity, as boldly, distinctively and creatively as possible.

With so much uncertainty in the world, we are at a time in history when the LGBTQ community is the most powerful it has ever been. We have more voices than we have ever had. We must use those voices and be seen. 

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