You may have seen people popping up in your social media feeds with semicolon tattoos recently. Maybe you think they just love punctuation, or winky faces, or maybe they’re just really into grammar.
Whatever has crossed your mind, you’re probably at least a little bit curious what the deal is, even if you haven’t asked someone about it or Googled it just yet.
That’s where we come in, and the truth is actually way cooler than any of the guesses above.
Project Semicolon is a non-profit dedicated to supporting people who struggle with depression, anxiety, self-harm, and other forms of mental illness. The project uses semicolon tattoos to spread awareness and support for their passion.
Their message is simple: A semicolon is used when an author could’ve ended a sentence but chose not to. You are the author and the sentence is your life.
The project began as a single-day event on April 16, 2013, when founders Charlee Chandler and Matthew Wills encouraged people to post images online of semicolons drawn on their wrists in a show of support and solidarity for people suffering from mental illness.
Now, the simple sign of hope and continuation has grown into a permanent, organic movement.