Every year since 2017, Dawson Creek B.C, a city of about 13,000, has painted a rainbow crosswalk outside the local secondary school to celebrate LGBTQ pride month. Over the years, the crosswalk has been the target of several acts of hate and intolerance.
LGBTQ: The acronym for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer.” Some people also use the Q to stand for “questioning,” meaning people who are figuring out their sexual orientation or gender identity. You may also see LGBT+, LGBT*, LGBTx, or LGBTQIA. I stands for intersex and A for asexual/aromantic/agender. The “A” has also been used by some to refer to “ally.”
Ally: a person who is not LGBTQ but shows support for LGBTQ people and promotes equality in a variety of ways.
Unfortunately, the intolerance against the LGBTQ community isn’t going to disappear in our lifetime. People have long protested, disagreed with, and developed phobias related to the LGBTQ community. I remember someone telling me that he was proud that his church was now accepting gay people and that there was a program to convert them.
Since then, the world has come a long way, but we have a long way to go. The journey of tolerance and acceptance is one woven outside of social norms. Eradicating prejudice and discrimination is completely about as likely as Hell freezing over. Still, people have changed. And I’d like to say, mostly for the better.
The residents of Dawson Creek united as soon as the crosswalk was vandalized, and they got busy repainting. This wasn’t the Pride Society, but active members of the community who are allies to the LGBTQ community. They have repainted the crosswalk each and every time it has been vandalized.
This month we also saw the Oreo Proud Parent ad; a bold statement that supports love over hate.
Like the rainbow crosswalk, this ad received criticism from “One Million Moms” a Christian organization that threatened to boycott Oreo (they aren’t really one million in number). They’ve also asked their followers to sign a petition objecting to a super-subtle moment with a female couple in Toy Story 4.
Both of these stories highlight an important detail. All communities who are treated unjustly, need allies to stand; to stand for the greater good. And not for “them,” because there let’s eradicate “us and them” right now. There is only “us.” The amount of people doing this is growing. There are so many opportunities to take an active role in advocating for groups who are targeted, it’s just a matter of shifting our mindset from a passive one, to an active one.
Someone once asked me was, “When all is said and done, will you have done more than you said?” I like this question as it inspires me to walk my talk.
When all is said and done, will you have done more than you said?