HOPEFULLY BY NOW, we’ve all had a chance to process what the events of June 14 and what the week leading up to it meant to each of us and our community. Now that some time has passed, I want to contribute to the conversation.
I had no idea when I got the Facebook invitation for ‘On Fridays, We Wear Pink,’ how big this event and the concept would (and could) become. The movement, started in part by entertainer and fundraiser Nina West, seemed to take on a life of its own almost instantly. Over two thousand people joined the Facebook event in the first day, with responses over the course of the week coming from around the world.
To walk through my day on June 14, 2013 and see all the pink shirts in my office, worn by straight allies, and on Facebook and Instagram from the LGBTQ community and our supporters was astounding. It gave me warm, fuzzy feelings deep in the recesses of my cold, sarcastic heart. It also made me a little sad. Three men were beaten for living their truths and this is the first and only time we as a community have devoted any true energy to addressing the persistent issue of hate crimes since I moved to Columbus in 2003.
I know it’s part of the human condition that if we don’t see it, it’s not real, so I really shouldn’t be surprised that living in the safety of our Columbus community has taken away our perspective that these, and worse, happen all around the world every single day.
If I mentioned the name Mark Carson, who would know why he’s important? Does anyone remember that he was the man who was shot in the face and killed in New York City while walking to dinner with his boyfriend? They should. He was in Greenwich Village, one of the most notoriously gay sections of New York when a man approached them and started a verbal altercation that ended in Carson’s murder in May.
Every day, people all around the world are forced to live in societies and communities that aren’t as open and comfortable as our pocket of the country. There are many hate related things that we as a community still need to discuss and put an end to, including corrective rape, bullying and conversion therapy.
Are you still wearing pink on Friday? Are you talking about the implications of the movement here and about the fact that we even need one? I am and I do. Nina put out the call and I am taking up the banner. “On Fridays, We Wear Pink,” was an amazing way to start a movement. It’s up to all of us to keep up the momentum and to continue