Sometimes, the symbols of pride that we share for our own sake are the same ones that provide healing and clarity to those in our proximity, whether we realize it or not. We know that visibility matters. We know that it is essential for children to see individuals that represent who and what they are. And this kid's lovely note found outside a gay couple's home proves why being who you are is so crucial for not just your own sanctity of mind, but for others as well.
Meghan Stabler, the VP of the e-commerce platform Big Commerce, took to Twitter to share a sweet note her neighbor's child shared with herself and her partner before their family moved away according to Good Morning America. "Read a beautiful note found on my doorstep," she wrote on Twitter with a photo of the note. "I proudly fly 2 rainbow flags at my home. You never know who needs the support, who is hiding and needs a lift up."
As People reported, Sal Stow, Stabler's partner also shared the note on Facebook, writing: "I just went out to collect 2 packages from the doorstep (at my partner Meghan’s house, that I call home) only to find this note under a rock on the mat. This is why visibility is SO important. You never know who needs the support and to know it’s ok. I hope this person is ok, their family is being supportive and they find a community to connect with that can help them through this brave process … I will continue to be visible in whatever way I can."
The note itself was a drawing of a young kid waving two rainbow flags. It read:
Hello. You don't know me, but my name is [retracted]. We're moving away today, but I wanted to thank you. Seeing a pride flag waving so proudly outside your house every day has given me the courage to come out to my family and be more comfortable with who I am.
The response has so far been resoundingly positive, with many individuals sharing photos of the flags and pride symbols that they have on their own homes.
"This is fantastic. You two have effectively touched another persons [sic] life in a way very few could. Thank you for being there to represent us all. You're a gift," one individual responded on Twitter.
"Not to mention that kids [sic] a good artist! i’m so proud of them. seeing people being able to be proud of themselves is just so heartwarming to me. i’m glad you could help them," another commented.
There's a psychological reason why visibility is so important to marginalized groups. According to Psychology Today, when LGBTQ+ individuals are represented in the media (or, in this case, normalized in the form of home decor) they are being "seen by society as opposed to being rendered unseen or invisible."
"When people are able to see something represented, they are better able to understand and grasp who those people are, and this creates an important shift in the social consciousness to include people from a range of different backgrounds," Jennifer O’Brien Ph.D. wrote for Psychology Today.
In addition, representation is important for validating identity. Being able to resonate with another person is important for self-affirmation, feelings of worthiness and acceptability, particularly in a world that often communicates to these individuals that who they are is somehow "wrong," or at the very least, different. Ultimately, normalizing any part of LGBTQ life is essential for the esteem and personal development of everyone, but particularly children. And this story of a heartwarming note is an inspiring reminder of how the little things can actually be life-changing.