Lawn Sign Campaign Raises Support for Local LGBTQ+ Community
Initiative raised $1,500 for OUT MetroWest outreach programsBy Theresa Knapp
MEDWAY - You have likely seen them around town, the signs with a multi-colored heart that read “We Support, Love, Uplift, Empower, & Celebrate Our LGBTQ+ Community Members” but did you know they were designed by a local teen for a campaign organized by two Medway women?
The signs can be found in many communities including Medway, Hopkinton, Franklin, Medfield, Dedham, Brookline, Acton, and more.
“If one kid is on the bus in Medway and is feeling alone and not supported, and they see one of these signs and feels the community loves and supports them, then I met the goal of the project because my son did not have that,” says Andrea Moores whose son’s experience in the Medway schools drives her to help others feel included. “He had a hard time when he came out, I know it was hard for him. He had love and support at home but did not always feel he was in a community that supported him, and it definitely affected his high school years.”
With Pride month approaching, Moores found herself in conversation with Angelica Crosby, who (along with seven other people) founded Medway Marches in 2020 with a vision to create “deep-rooted, continual change” while working to build an inclusive community.
“Andrea and I wanted to take some pressure off of the high school students and focus on creating a community event,” says Crosby. “Medway Marches strives to create space for Black, Indigenous and people of color within our suburb and it was obvious LGBTQ+ issues are also our issues seeing as Black and Brown people are even more marginalized within the community. The majority of those brutalized during stonewall were gay or trans Black people.”
Moores and Crosby worked with the TADA (Tolerance Acceptance Diversity Alliance) group at Medway High School, and the local sign idea was created. The sign itself was designed by student Aoife Bergeron, TADA president.
They also worked with Medway Youth Against Racism, a community group that started in 2020 after a former MHS student shared their personal experience on Facebook.
The organizers held a lawn sale pickup event in late May which they described as a “playful and fun event” where people gathered and shared their experiences within Medway.
Lawn sign sales raised $1,500 which was donated to OUT MetroWest in Framingham which “builds communities where LGBTQ+ youth thrive.” They also offer programs for families and the community.
“We’re a small non-profit that depends on donations from community members to provide our services,” says Julie Blazar, Director of Communications and Outreach at OUT MetroWest. “All of our offerings are free of charge to participants, so a $1,500 donation is huge for us. $1,500 allows us to support LGBTQ+ middle school youth for a month. This donation will translate directly to serving local youth, including those from Medway and surrounding communities.”
For links to these groups and organizations, visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MedwayMillisTownNews