Our charity yarn for July is called ‘Knit A Rainbow‘ and aims to raise funds for Stonewall, an organisation that supports the LGBTQ+ community.
As we reflect on 2019’s Pride Month and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, we are reminded of how far the fight for LGBTQ+ rights has come but also how much more work there is left to do.
Discussion within the knitting community has been raging for some time about the need for inclusivity and this was heightened during Pride and then again with Ravelry’s recent announcement that they have banned posts in support of President Trump and his administration in a stand against white supremacy.
When I created ‘Knit A Rainbow’, both of these events and discussion around them were occupying my mind and I think the dyed result reflects that.
There has been a lot of ugliness directed at those of us in support of Pride and Ravelry’s move with some opposition camps even citing their faith as a reason to disagree.
I don’t propose to get into a big theological debate here but I have always been under the impression that faith of any kind should be peaceful, loving, kind, understanding, tolerant and supportive. It is so sad that for some, that isn’t the case.
On the other hand, there are those who have stayed silent throughout this debate and I think perhaps I have a bigger issue with these people. At least with overt homophobes and white supremacists, you know where you stand. Those that sit on the fence, look the other and way and say nothing fail to see that they are complicit in the problem.
I know there are those who will say they don’t like confrontation, they’re quiet and shy and feel uncomfortable speaking out. I understand that – I have acute social anxiety but if a marginalised group are being targeted, you have a moral duty to speak out in their defence. You know it.
This past month I have often been reminded of Naomi Shulman’s words: “Nice people made the best Nazis. My mom grew up next to them. They got along, refused to make waves, looked the other way when things got ugly and focused on happier things than “politics”. They were lovely people who turned their heads as their neighbours were dragged away. You know who weren’t nice people? Resisters.”
So no, here at Baa Baa Brighouse we won’t just stick to the knitting thanks.