December 1st, 2008 • 10:12
I came across a marriage equality website today that I wanted to let you all know about. It’s called whiteknot.org Please visit the site and participate.
The idea is a simple one: wear a white ribbon tied in a knot as a symbol that every person, regardless of sexual orientation, should have the right to marry.
As I write about this today, on World AIDS day, I think about the powerful symbol the red ribbon was, and continues to be, in raising recognition about the AIDS crisis. In the 80s and early 90s, at a time when so many people were refusing to take action– to even utter the word AIDS– people of conscience donned ribbons and forced a conversation to happen. The ribbon brought an end to silence and forced politicians into action. Action that led to research and hope.
I think about my own brother, Gene, today who died in 1996 from AIDS. I remember the first time I saw him wearing a ribbon, I remember him making me one, pinning it to my lapel. Being so strong when I was not.
Today, I will make myself a whiteknot. I will make one for my partner. I will make them for my friends. As I so often do, I will think about my brother while I tie these knots. I’ll remember his humor, his strength, his spirit. If he were alive, I know he’d be by my side, in the fight for marriage equality. He’d be buying the white ribbon right now.
We must none of us be silent on this civil rights issue. I’m actually rather shy, quiet. My brother was the outgoing one. Still, I will force myself not to cower, not to be afraid. I will speak the truth about marriage segregation. And when it’s difficult finding the words, I’ll let the whiteknot speak for me.
I hope you will as well.
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