In the last couple of weeks it’s been amazing to see so many people change their social media profile pics to the rainbow flag in support of Pride – apparently 26 million people used the Facebook ‘Celebrate Pride’ tool to do so. What’s even more wonderful is that so many of these people are straight, demonstrating a growing number of supporters and ‘allies’.
It’s a powerful message to send to all those anti-LGBT folk out there who are more narrow minded than these lovely supportive, accepting ‘friends of friends of Dorothy’.
Having straight allies is hugely important to achieving equality because we all know ‘majority rules’ and gay people are still very much a minority in the big scheme of things, even though just recently you’d think it were possibly the other way around. There have been some real wins for our team in the last few weeks and we have to thank our straight friends, family and colleagues for that.
The marriage equality referendum in Ireland showed us we aren’t alone in demanding our rights and that most straight people agree we should be entitled to share equality with them. This amazing move in favour of equality happened in a country where religion and family values are strong which makes the majority win even more empowering. These wonderful people literally voted with their feet by taking the trouble to leave their homes and make their way to the polling station to vote in favour of something which doesn’t really impact on them personally.
Last week the Supreme Court in America made a change to the laws which made it unconstitutional to make same sex marriage illegal. Notwithstanding the fact they could be described as The Supremes (apologies – I couldn’t resist it), none of these judges are gay or lesbian. They are straight men and women who know that it doesn’t make a difference who we love, we are all deserving of the same human rights and made the decision one of ‘basic fairness and human dignity’.
Everywhere we turn we find straight allies standing alongside us – not because they have a stake in the outcome. Not because a lack of equality will affect them in the slightest. It’s not even because they understand what it is like to be treated as less of a person. They have the rights they need, without having to fight for them. They stand with us because they know we are all equal and deserve to be treated that way. And this makes them so very special.
The Holding Hands 4 Equality campaign is proud and honoured to count so many straight allies among our followers. We are so grateful for their love and support, as we are for every straight person in the world who has ever liked a post about equality, shared a message of support, changed their profile pic to a rainbow, encouraged their friends and families to do the same or challenged homophobia or inequality. We know you are doing this for us, there is no obvious gain to you by standing beside us. Without you our voice wouldn’t be heard. Your support adds weight to our cause and makes us stronger. Thank you to each and every one of you.