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Today is International Day Against Homophobia

May 17, 2010

I received an email today from one of my sisters who teaches middle school is Maine.  She mentioned that one of her students came up to her to ask if she was wearing black to support International Day Against Homophobia.  She explained that that was why she was wearing black.  I asked my sister how the student came to be involved in this effort and the student said she found it on Facebook and forwarded it to all of her friends.  She was doing it to support one of her friends.

I was struck by two things about this email.  One, a reminder of the generational change.  I can’t imagine a gesture like this being such a small thing when I was in middle school in a nearby town (not THAT long ago).  The second thing I was struck by was the fact that Facebook, something that came into existence when I was either a freshman or sophomore in college, enable news of this effort to permeate the all size towns in all regions.

It’s a worn out cliche to say that the internet is a powerful tool, but it has really done amazing things to connect people with others who care about their issues and have shared experiences.  The fact that a 12 or 13-year-old girl in Maine can take initiative and pass on notice of an International Day Against Homophobia without having to form a student group or get approval from an administration means that students with a sense of justice can more easily organize and lead without barriers or any effort beyond a few clicks.  That is progress, and that is why the generational shift that is moving us closer to full equality is picking up speed.

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