A Florida soccer team debuted a short, sweet, all-caps protest for queer rights.
Good luck getting Florida to stop saying gay, homophobes.
This week, Florida governor and Trump enthusiast Ron DeSantis signed the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which will prohibit schools in that state from teaching young students about sexual orientation or gender identity. This, of course, has made all of us want to say “gay” more than we ever have in our entire lives, and some folks are getting pretty damn creative about how they’re going about doing that.
Last week, players of the Orlando Pride, a team in the National Women’s Soccer League, were filmed walking out of a bus wearing t-shirts with the word “GAY” written in all caps. The video spread through Twitter, where supporters asked where they could get their own “GAY” tees.
But despite having the most homosexual name for a professional soccer team in recorded history, the Orlando Pride had its own LGBTQ-related controversy just days earlier. The team’s leadership asked an organization that was protesting the state’s homophobic bill during one of its games not to display a banner with the word “gay” on it because it was “too political,” according to The Guardian. This was inconsistent with the team’s previous stance on gay rights — in 2016, they had 49 rainbow-colored seats in their stadium to honor the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting. Last week, the team released an apology on Twitter promising to do better, à la Notes app.
Whether the “gay” shirt situation was a decision that the players made on their own or a PR stunt for the team to salvage its reputation, the most important part in all of this is, in my opinion, was that they took a stance at all. Remaining silent on matter such as this one, as we know, is siding with the oppressor.
Activism doesn’t always have to look like marching through the streets. Right now, the most important thing is to let queer kids in Florida know that their government’s decision is not a popular one and that there are so many people out here who do love the gays. And if you won’t take it from a professional soccer team, take it from a queer kid who grew up in suburban Texas: Being gay is dope as hell.