Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Sign of the Times ...

If you live in Greensboro, you might've seen this billboard, created by Triad Equality Alliance (TEA).

Actually, you may have seen or heard something about it if you just live in the area, or the state, or, well, the whole world! Their most recent initiative has really gotten some attention:
TEA has been around for years. TEA's mission is to eliminate prejudice and to secure social justice and civil rights for LGBT people by educating and enlightening the general public about LGBT members of the community and the special issues affecting them. Equality NC Foundation has served as their fiscal agent.

You can see some of their previous billboards here:
Their work has been a perfect example of putting a face on a civil rights issue. When you're just denying rights to 'The Gays,' then it's easy. When you have a human face whose civil rights and American promise of equality are being taken away, that's much, much harder.

Anything that humanizes the LGBT community works in favor of equality. Here's what one teenager said about TEA's first billboard campaign:

"I turned around and went by it 3 times...."

"I'm a 17 year old and I go to Burke High. I always kind of knew that I was attracted to girls and last year fell in love with Kathy and am sure now that I'm a lesbian. Since then, I haven't said anything to anyone but my mom who was pretty cool about it but wanted me to talk with a counselor who has been great. Anyway, besides Kathy, my mom and my counselor, all I hear around here about gays and lesbians is really awful. It has had me real, real depressed.

"Tuesday night I was driving to town from the mall and drove by y'alls billboard. Wow! I almost ran off the road. It was awesome. Just awesome. And it's BIG!!

"It was the first positive thing I've heard since I admitted to myself that I'm gay and it just knocked me out.

"I was driving down 26 crying and everything - I turned around and went by it 3 times, then found out how to get back there in the Sears lot to just stare at it for awhile. Anyway, I wanted to thank ya'll for doing it. You can't really ever know what it meant to me but I wanted to try to tell you."

-- Angela

Most of the time you don't hear about how your actions have affected others. The feedback TEA has received has been extremely positive, and that's only what's known. There's no way to tell how many countless lives have been affected by this simple affirmation of common humanity.

It's truly a positive sign of the times.

No comments:

Post a Comment