OUTstanding Lives.org Celebrates over
Two Million Supporters of Same-Sex Marriage Worldwide
“Gay is good.” The Bilingual Training Manager tried to sound calm as she replied to a homophobic remark at work. Those three simple words got her fired. Cold and alone, she walked by the lake, tears creating icy rivers down her face. She heaved a stone into the water, trying desperately to throw away her feelings of rejection. She picked up another stone. She had to do something. Anything.
“Somehow, I will make a difference,” she vowed, staring at the rock, holding it tight. She thought of youth in the community. She wondered how they could possibly manage rejection, with no work experience, no education, and sometimes no family to help them. She looked up, remembering her late cousin Ted. “Some day, I will raise millions of dollars for gay-friendly youth programs,” she promised. With one long arc, she threw that stone into the smooth lake. Ripples spread.
Last spring, the first half of that promise came true. After seventeen attempts and thousands of hours of volunteering for the LGBT community, Sharon Love launched a gay-friendly Facebook group that attracted over two million people in just over two weeks.
“The day we hit two million was one of the most exciting days of my life,” raves Love. Support was pouring in from all around the world. Every time you clicked “refresh”, the numbers and the wall completely changed. Everyone was ecstatic”. The wall was teeming with posts things like this:
“Click refresh… ten thousand more people just joined! Click again… ten thousand MORE joined!!! OMG… we’re almost at TWO MILLION! This is better than New Year’s!... Click again… YES!!! We did it! TWO MILLION PEOPLE!”
Today, Love’s group, “I bet we can find 1,000,000 People who Support Same Sex Marriage” is known as the World’s Largest Gay-friendly Facebook group. Love’s little hobby, OUTstanding Lives Network, suddenly grew into a worldwide social movement. Over 60,000 people signed a petition, which Love sent to the United Nations and the White House. Over 13,000 subscribed to an e-newsletter. In December, the United Nations reversed a discriminatory decision, and LGBT people won the right to live.
People have been calling OUTstanding Lives Network from Turkey, Uganda, India, the Netherlands, and more. Network members have voted to hold a global conference called Marriage Pride, next summer in Toronto.
“I believe that same-sex marriage worldwide will also help save lives of LGBT youth,” explains Love. It sends a very strong message of equality. Legal equality builds belonging, respect, and self-esteem. In Canada, for example, equal marriage laws have helped to create a much friendlier, more open culture of acceptance. “When we humanize the community with an event focused on love, people are more likely to respect our rights as equals,” explains Love. “I’m very excited to bring our global network together through an event.”
In order to raise funds for Marriage Pride, Love is holding on-line Master Classes called “OUTstanding OUTreach; You, Too, Can Inspire Millions”. The introductory class is free. “People kept asking me how I reached over two million people in just over two weeks,” explains Love. “I finally realized that I should answer that question. Our affiliate program aims to raise funds for LGBT charities and even help create jobs for community.”
For more information, to join the affiliate program or to join the Free Master Class on-line, visit www.outstandinglives.org .