The day after the Supreme Court solidified marriage rights for people of all sexual persuasions, a young girl in Columbus, Ohio made a stand for the equality she believes in. Seven year-old Zea Bowling stood nose-to-nose with a homophobic street preacher and silently waved a rainbow flag as the preacher raged against civil rights, directing his sermon at the girl. The standoff took place at ComFest, an annual family-friendly, community music and arts festival that began as a Vietnam War protest in the 1970s, and is generally a lighthearted affair. The video, captured by Zea’s father Ryan Bowling, has gone viral. It depicts the young girl handing out high-fives and fist bumps while solemnly waving her flag. Two weeks have passed since that scene took place, but the story isn’t over. Columbus-based Traxler Tees grasped the opportunity to raise further awareness, and launched a T-shirt design commemorating the stand-off. Owner Zach Traxler posted on the company’s Facebook page: “The proceeds of this shirt will go to the girl (Zea) in the original photo for her courage to stand for equality – a portion of the proceeds will later be donated to an LBGT non-profit of her family’s pick,” also noting that the T-shirt company had permission to use the image. Zea has since decided to donate 100% of the proceeds to Kaleidoscope Youth Center, which is Ohio’s only LGBTQ center for youth and their allies. Let little Zea be an inspiration to us all.
via Ryan Bowling
Image via Mara Gruber