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The Holding Hands 4 Equality campaign was born out of an idea I had when I read an article about how straight people are less likely to be homophobic if gay people are part of their everyday life. It makes perfect sense. We tend to be scared of what we don’t know or unfamiliar things.
Holding hands with my boyfriend in public has always been an issue. We were both closeted men for a long time and the effects of society seeing gay people almost as a second class entity has stopped us being able to feel comfortable doing even the simple thing which most straight couples in love take for granted. Take a look at our #holdinghands photo and you might see how uncomfortable the two of us are holding hands in public.
Whenever an LGBT person holds hands with their partner, they do so having assessed their surroundings. Even subconsciously they will have looked around to see who’s watching and what they might think, say or do.
This needs to change.
No one should feel uncomfortable about showing their love for another person by holding their hand.
So what better way to make it ok for everyone to be able to hold hands than to make the action so common place and ‘normal’ that no one bats an eyelid or stops to stare if they see a same sex couple holding hands.
The best way of getting people to feel OK about something is to normalise it – make it part of their everyday life. Nothing to be afraid of.
So that’s what this campaign is all about. It’s our chance to make it OK. For all of us to hold hands together. No matter our sexuality or identity. Gay, straight, bi, lesbian, trans – whoever you are. Change your profile pic to the HH4E logo for the day on the 17th May (IDAHOBIT), take a picture of you holding hands with someone you love and get it on as many social networks as you can with the #holdinghands. Nominate your friends to do the same.
Together we can make a difference.