Westmount student rallies against homophobic slurs
Westmount Secondary School is painted all of the colours of the rainbow today.
Grade 10 student Jared McCarthy has inspired people worldwide with a rainbow shirt rally in support of the LGBTQ community.
“When a student in one of my classes was making inappropriate remarks about the LGBTQ community, I felt that it was unacceptable,” explains McCarthy. “He said that if I was so supportive of gay people that I should wear a rainbow shirt to school. I decided that’s what I was going to do.”
McCarthy’s mother, Christina, asked friends on Facebook for any rainbow attire that Jared and his friends could borrow.
On Thursday, she shared a Facebook video of the teen encouraging other students at Westmount, and around Hamilton, to wear rainbow shirts to school. The video quickly went viral, with just over 61,000 views by mid-day Friday.
The video has also reached international borders, being shared in Switzerland, Czech Republic, Italy, and Sweden.
“I’m sure there was someone in the class who is unsure about their sexuality, so I figured it was time for someone to speak up,” he explains. “Enough.”
McCarthy hopes that his message was heard.
“This isn’t to show one person how I feel, it’s an opportunity to show as many people as possible. I want to spread the message not of fear and hate, but that we support LGBTQ.”