Guess who’s helping lead San Antonio’s gay pride parade this Saturday?
Will is the 11-year-old who’s been advocating civil rights for years — years! — refusing to stand for the Pledge because we don’t really have “liberty and justice for all” and speaking out in support of same-sex marriage.
Will has long been motivated by a desire to see people treated fairly, she said. While just in preschool, Will fumed when other school kids taunted one of his good friends, a child with severe speech delays. “He’d get so mad when people would make fun of his friend. He was like this little four-year-old vigilante who was out to solve this problem, wanting to argue about it. He always had that mindset.”
Last summer Will helped lead his first pride parade in Fayetteville, Ark., angering Christian conservative groups like the American Family Association, who called his participation in the parade tantamount to child abuse. In a message sent out to thousands of supporters at the time, the organization said, “He’s obviously just parroting the nonsense he’s been told by manipulative adults. For gay activists to trot out this child and make him the poster child for promoting unnatural sexual expression is a form of child abuse.”
But any abuse Will remembers came from the Christian set. “I remember people saying awful things. … I remember protestors, the ones that were there yelling, they were the ones being vulgar,” he said.
Will has a better understanding of social justice and the courage you need to fight for it than most politicians and the entire Religious Right. I can’t wait to see what he does as he gets older.
(Thanks to Rob for the link!)