Over this past holiday weekend, we asked those of you who could, to take a moment with your family and friends to discuss the role LGBT equality (or a lack thereof) plays in your day-to-day lives. The tagline asked you to let 'Aunt Betty' feel a little bit awkward, but the truth is it probably was just as awkward for many of you to start a conversation about the importance of equality, or to contribute details about your lives that you had previously held back.
This was not a campaign about coming out. This was a campaign asking those who were already out not to go "back in" over the holidays, simply out of a fear of awkwardness. There are many LGBT people who cannot share aspects of their lives with loved ones. But by urging people for whom awkwardness was the only roadblock to be more open, we're hoping to make that road a little easier for the other folks.
Similarly, this wasn't a campaign geared at changing the minds of those who are decidedly anti-gay. ('Aunt Betty' is one thing 'Uncle Fred Phelps' is quite another.) This was an effort to remind people who don't think about LGBT issues on a daily basis that someone very important to them is LGBT or a committed straight ally.
We're thrilled to report that in response to our campaign, countless people participated in honest, candid conversations about their lives that in years past, they would have sat out. 'Aunt Betty' and all of our loved ones deserve to know what we care so deeply about, the challenges we face, and what needs to be done in the name of LGBT equality. And they need to be reminded of the fact that this is important to someone they love. Studies show that the most effective way to change hearts and minds on LGBT issues is through personal connections and honest conversations. This year, the LGBT community has a lot to be thankful for. Our ability to build understanding with our loved ones over Thanksgiving dinner is just one more thing.
Thanksgiving may be over, but we are still accepting Awkward Thanksgiving stories on our Facebook Page! Upload your story for your chance to win a Nixon Coolpix S6100 digital camera and to show your support for LGBT visibility. If you can, please use this holiday season to make real progress by simply talking about yourself. We thank all of you for having these conversations - each one plays a tiny part in making similar conversations a lot less awkward for all of us in the future.
Thanksgiving may be over, but GLAAD is still accepting Awkward Thanksgiving stories on its Facebook Page! Upload your story and/or photo for your chance to win a Nixon Coolpix S6100 digital camera and to show your support for LGBT visibility. Use this holiday season to make real progress by talking about yourself and furthering equality.