WIDK By Staff Writer EMILY MOORE — Before I met my partner Brooke, I compared myself to a great white shark– beautiful, world traveler, independent, strong. And so went the tattoo of a shark’s tooth on my neck to permanently etch this symbolism onto me.
But when we locked eyes for the first time I realized my life chasing boys was over. I had met my match, and apparently I was gay?
After a year of mulling this over in self-mutilating secrecy, we came out to our close friends and families with unwavering support. Three years later we are still together, though I now relate more to elephants, animals that travel in packs, rely on their families, love blindly and wholly, and are filled with wisdom. I am now finally filled with the wisdom of who I really am. And besides still being a child at heart (why my tattoo is a cartoon), I am in love with a woman.
Thankfully my friends and family are very supportive, but it is sad that not all stories begin or end this way. As we all know, in the past year bullying has been a major cause of teenage suicide. So whenever I find a group on Facebook that goes above and beyond helping people survive the cruel blows this world of ours can release, I feel compelled to share it with everyone I know. And that is exactly what WHOF, or Wipeout Homophobia On Facebook, is doing.
WHOF started as a few friends trying to eradicate ‘hate speech’ from Facebook. The founders and supporters will stop at nothing to alert the world that free speech is not acceptable if founded in hate.
The first day of conception over a thousand people joined the cause and each day brings a wave of new members to the crusade. Though most of you spelling hounds out there are probably tisking in your chairs at the word ‘wipeout’ which is typically two words, the man behind the vision, Kevin ‘Kel’ O’Neil, purposefully named it so to emphasize the wave-like nature of the group’s impact on homophobic people. It is time to WIPEOUT homophobic thoughts and actions, and what better platform to stand on than Facebook, the website that connects the world.
The WHOF website and Facebook page offer LGBTQ persons as well as straight supporters a place to meet, discuss the perils and beauties of being gay in today’s society as well as share stories and photos in a supportive, safe and non-discriminative online community.
WHOF’s greater mission is to make all people equal, because ‘equal rights are not equal until everyone has them’. How true this is. And one of their most successful outlets to spread the good word is the use of clever, hysterical cartoons. So I hope you enjoy a few of WHOF’s most reposted and ‘liked’ cartoons of 2011 in support of equal rights, for all.
Don’t hesitate, join the cause today!