When people think of the month of February, the first thought that usually comes into their head is Valentine's Day. For some of us it is a dreaded day, for those who are single it can be a painful day. However, it is undeniably a day to celebrate the love that exists in our world. This is something the creator of the website 'A day in hand' believes should be celebrated 365 days a year. David Watkins created this site essentially to celebrate the relationships we form in life, and the feeling of love we publicly display by the simple yet so meaningful gesture of holding hands. Yet for the people featured in the pictures on his site it can cause an unnecessary back lash. That is because the people partaking in the campaign are of a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender nature.
It's very difficult to imagine the discrimination people have to experience for simply showing their love for someone if you have not been in the situation personally. Perhaps this freedom is something many people in society often take for granted. I for one could not imagine what it would be like to be unable to hold hands with a partner whilst walking down the street. To be discriminated against for doing something that is so natural and which does not affect other people is something that I cannot comprehend.
The site's message is one of positivity and hope for the future. It encourages people to support the cause by following three simple steps. These are, firstly, to find someone of the same sex that you love, respect, or admire. Secondly, to put your hand in their hand. And finally to step outside. This is a campaign not just exclusively for the LGBT members of society, but it is also for anybody and everybody who believes that being able to express your love for somebody should not be confined for only the conventional straight people in society. The site quite cleverly points out that you do not have to be black to object to racism, nor do you have to be female to object to sexism, and you certainly do not have to be gay yourself in order to know that “LGBT rights are human rights”. The site in fact features straight people holding hands with people of the same sex, in order to show their support for the cause. The site also has other features such as forums, latest news, links to other sites that have a similar theme and just general messages from people who have got involved and supported the cause.
Valentine's Day is for everyone, no matter what the gender of the people in the relationship are. Love is for everyone, no matter what the gender of the people in the relationship are. It is time people support this revolution, and the website is a lovely and inoffensive way to do it. The hand-holding pictures are a simple and emotive way of showing that love should not just be for straight people. It is an innovative idea that could affect people's perceptions of “unconventional” relationships, and in fact make them no longer “unconventional” but a significant and normal part of society, that people openly accept.
*This article was originally published in Quench LGBT+ section. Available online here.