Ten days ago, on Thursday, May 17, while Richard Noble was still in Alabama during his extraordinary Walk Across America for Equality, the Gulf Coast News Today reported this:
It seems safe to say that most biases are caused by a lack of understanding. People grow accustomed to similar races, personalities and preferences because their first social lessons begin as children—in a family unit. Traditionally, marriages were between men and women of the same race, religion, political affiliation…parents hand down their own beliefs to children: we are white, Southern Baptist, republican…take pride in the family name, Smith, our ancestors were wood workers from England, came to America in 1899….
Thus, children are often the most closed minded in a society because their minds haven’t been opened to other possibilities. With limited knowledge based on parents, grandparents and siblings, kids and teens may lash out against those who are “different.”
“My daddy says vote for (fill in the blank).” “My mama doesn’t like your mama.” …so the hatred begins.
But Richard Noble has decided to stand up, and walk, to teach lessons of tolerance and love.
He began walking on March 12, 2011 at the Golden Gate Bridge in California; two weeks ago, he had reached Robertsdale, a 2,285-mile journey.
“When so many young people are being bullied in school and the suicide rate so high, especially in young, gay kids, I prayed a lot over this,” he began. “It came to me to openly—walk the Rainbow flag across America.”
“I speak at schools and help pass equal civil-rights resolutions. The mayors all over the country proclaim Gay Equality Days in my honor; that included Biloxi, Mobile, Montgomery and New Orleans.”
Noble said he’s honored to work to stop prejudices.
“As the first openly gay man to walk the Rainbow flag across America and speak about bullying and civil rights to thousands of people, it’s a great time.”
By Friday, May 27, Noble was in Tallahassee, Florida, with another proclamation for full the American Equality Bill, more conversations about LGBT rights and some surprising help from unexpected sources. (Follow Richard on Facebook and his Walk Across America website.)