Gay rights have made once unthinkable strides over the course of just a few short years, but for many Americans, the lifestyle of their gay neighbors and family members are still unfamiliar and even frightening. Although it may seem backwards and can manifest as ugly hatred, this hesitance to accept homosexuals as a vital and normal part of society is a natural response to the unknown that likely arose during the earliest days of tribal civilizations. Thankfully, this reluctance typically melts away with knowledge and repeated exposure to the change in question. By wearing gay pride apparel in public, even one person can help incrementally normalize homosexuality and increase the speed of overall societal acceptance as a result.
Understanding How People Respond to Changing Norms
It is common knowledge that many, if not most, people fear change. Moving away from the familiar, stable pattern of society into new territory is an intimidating and uncertain proposition, particularly when that change has been expressly forbidden for centuries or even millenniums. Younger generations may have an easier time adapting to new concepts, but older people in particular often become entrenched in their beliefs. The only way to win these individuals over is to demonstrate overwhelmingly that the change in question is not harmful and the people involved are their family, friends and neighbors.
Passively Normalizing the Concept of Gay Pride
By wearing gay pride t-shirts in public, you can increase awareness of the gay community without engaging in activities that may turn off less accepting individuals. Where a gay pride parade may be shocking and offensive to anti-gay people, someone sitting across from them on the bus in a t-shirt is a much more humanizing expression of gay pride. By simply reminding others that homosexuals are normal people living normal lives, you may encourage them to reconsider their views and make a gradual shift to acceptance.
Encouraging Others to Show Pride
Besides reaching out passively to anti-gay individuals, your apparel may also make an impression on gay people who feel too intimidated to express their own pride. You don't need to be gay yourself to want to create a more welcoming environment for homosexuals, and you could convince others to begin showing their own support. This will not only drive funding to the gay-friendly businesses, such as Hey Bing Bong, who create the apparel, but also exponentially spread the exposure of homophobic individuals to normalized pride. With gay marriage now legalized across the nation, it is only a matter of time before homophobia is viewed with as much widespread disgust as racism and sexism. By doing your small part to bring homosexual acceptance into the lives of those around you, you can help speed this transition and promote a faster victory of love over fear and hate.