Metro Weekly

LGBT activists send Pride flag into space

Planting Peace wants LGBT children to "look up to the stars" whenever they feel alone

Photo: Planting Peace / YouTube

Photo: Planting Peace / YouTube

“I would love for LGBTQ children who are struggling to see this, and look up to the stars and remember that the universe shines brightly for them, and they are not alone.”

–Aaron Jackson, president of LGBT activist group Planting Peace, speaking with the Huffington Post. The group has completed an LGBT first, after launching a Pride flag 21 miles above the Earth’s surface by attaching it to a weather balloon.

In a statement, Planting Peace said they had “declared space LGBTQ friendly.”

They continued:

“The primary purpose of this declaration is to support the ongoing fight for the fundamental human rights of our LGBTQ family, moving us closer to a universal understanding that all people deserve to live freely and love freely without fear and discrimination.

“To achieve this, we used a high altitude balloon with a GoPro attached, and launched just outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The pride flag was airborne for just over three hours before making its way back to earth. At its peak altitude, the flag soared 21.1 miles above the earth’s surface.

“Our hope was to create the largest safe SPACE possible for our LGBTQ community. It also offered us a chance to reinforce, in a peaceful, beautiful way, our ongoing message to our LGBTQ family: You are loved, valued and beautiful. There is nothing wrong with you. You are not alone, and we will stand with you.”

Jackson told Huffington Post that it was an “honor to send the first Pride flag into space”.

“It provided a wonderful opportunity to show that Planting Peace will not stop fighting for LGBTQ rights until all sexual and gender minorities experience full, fundamental rights in every corner of the universe,” he said. “The backdrop of space gave us a stunning, inspiring and peaceful canvas for our message of hope to our LGBTQ family.”

Planting Peace are known for their attention-getting stunts. They’ve previously established a rainbow-colored Pride center opposite the home of the Westboro Baptist Church and declaring Antarctica the world’s first “LGBT friendly continent.”

Watch the Pride flag make space exploration history in the video below:

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.