Over the past week, the GLBTQ Leadership Council (GLC) released a photo project titled “Support Love.” This series includes various members of GLC and the Boston College community donning “Support Love” shirts, sweatshirts, and stickers. Underneath the photos, each student explains his or her support of GLBTQ rights.
“The original intention of the campaign was to candidly stop students in a ‘Humans of New York’ fashion, and challenge them in the moment by asking why they support love,” said Joon Park, director of communication for GLC and A&S ’18.
Park, who led the initiative, hopes to ultimately have this campaign become a spontaneous and widespread project throughout the community.
“I support love because it is a universally beautiful human experience,” said the caption below the photo of Anne Williams, A&S ’17, a participant in the project. “Because I should be able to share my life with any man or woman who inspires me to be as fully committed to making the most of life as possible. Because no one should be discouraged from pursuing happiness.”
The phrase “Support Love” is used internationally by the GLBTQ community and its allies, but this photo campaign is the first of its kind at BC. The full project is presented on social media platform Tumblr, but the GLC’s Facebook page also portrays the pictures of the students and their quotes.
The hashtags #SupportLove and #BostonCollege follow every caption, tracking the BC campaign’s spread on Twitter and other social media sites. Each of the featured students explains different reasons for supporting love.
From a visual standpoint, this project introduces a new perspective. GLC photographed the students in natural settings throughout campus—in dorm rooms, hallways, classrooms, and dining areas. Each photo itself is in black and white, except the “Support Love” clothing or sticker, which stand out in vibrant colors against the otherwise monotonous background.
On the full photo edition on Tumblr, among the photos of BC students, are photos of equal rights advocates for the GLBTQ community throughout the world. These photos bring the BC project into the context of the global initiative of the same name.
Thomas Napoli, chair of UGBC’s Institutional Policy Review Committee and A&S ’16, is among those featured in the photoset.
“Love is one of the few things in this world that is hopelessly out of our control,” the caption of his photo said. “There are places where embracing yourself can literally be life or death, yet still the LGBTQ community perseveres. If that’s not a testament to love’s awesomeness, I don’t know what is. And for that, I support love.”
This campaign is designed to serve as a conversation starter for students in BC who may not be involved in GLC.
“We were shocked by how many people were more than willing to share their vulnerability and put themselves in the awkward position of publicly sharing their statements and stories on Facebook,” Park said. “The support for the campaign has been surprisingly overwhelming.”
Andrew Engber, GLC chair and A&S ’15, shared his hopes for the long-term effect of this campaign.
“In the long-term, I hope that the campaign will help to foster greater acceptance and respect for LGBT people in the BC community,” he said. “I also hope that students who may be struggling with their sexuality will see this and recognize that there are many allies on campus who support them, and that this will help them to come to terms with their own identities.”
Featured Image courtesy Joon Park