Show your support. Photo by Angela Gzowski
written by Claire Wählen
October 14, 2011 1:00 pm

Wearing a rainbow pin is about more than just stating your orientation

Show your support. Photo by Angela Gzowski

Show your support. Photo by Angela Gzowski

First, let me say that I’m not gay — even though I wear a rainbow pin on my book bag. This idea is easy for my gay friends to understand, but less so for my heterosexual friends.

This may seem like a funny way to start my explanation, but it’s really the root of the issue. I have a fairly large rainbow pin that I wear on my book bag. A friend gave it to me after a DalOut/King’s LGBT event. Ever since, it has been on the bottom left corner of my book bag, and has been a surprising conversation point.

So try to imagine my face when someone beside me on the bus asks – out of nowhere – if I’m gay. I answer “no,” and ask why they would ask that. They point to the pin with a confused look on their face.

“Why would I have to be gay to support gay rights?” I ask.

They shrug, with no real argument at hand. “But aren’t you afraid you’ll mislead someone?”

Yes, someone said that to me. I would have laughed at this person, but I was too surprised. Someone legitimately asked me if I was concerned that I might lead a gay person to think that I am a gay, and thus confuse them. I was baffled.

Do I have to have served in Afghanistan to support my troops? Do I need to have lost a friend or family member to cancer to run for a cure? No. So why should I have to explain my wearing of a pin that supports gay rights?

Someone wise once said to me that homosexuality isn’t about having sex, it’s about being free to love who you will. How could I not support this?

That’s why I wear my pin, proudly, despite the dumb questions I get because of it.

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