Humans Of New York is a photography project by Brandon Stanton. It is wildly popular on Facebook, depicting New Yorkers in real life situations, displaying real life emotions.
A picture of a young teenager was posted on Friday, and the internet wept. With the caption “I’m homosexual and I’m afraid about what my future will be and that people won’t like me,” the photo has been shared nearly 40,000 times, and the tens of thousands of comments are full of love for a stranger and encouragement from a society that is becoming more progressive and accepting by the day.
There are, of course, the occasional trolls who wander in, but they aren’t lasting long. The humans are speaking out, they’re taking over, and it is absolutely fantastic. Every third or fourth comment it seems is a personal story of coming out, of the acceptance people have embraced in their hearts for the LGBT community. Others express the same concerns as the boy in the photo for their own reasons. There are those who endure body shaming, those who are vilified for not following their family’s religion, those who feel different because they’re nerdy and smart. Basically the entire thread has become a beautiful meeting place for…everybody.
Here’s a small taste of the love that progressive people can offer to a complete stranger:
When the official Hillary Clinton campaign page weighed in, her followers were thrilled to see the posted signed “-H,” meaning Hillary herself authored it. She wrote:
Prediction from a grown-up: Your future is going to be amazing. You will surprise yourself with what you’re capable of and the incredible things you go on to do. Find the people who love and believe in you – there will be lots of them.
Simple, realistic advice from an amazing woman whose life is full of trials and tribulations, strength and victory.
Hopefully this youngster is feeling better today knowing that so many have his back, that the hate and fear of those who refuse to progress because they refuse to even attempt to understand is a blight on their own spirit, not his.
And of course the bottom line: You don’t mess with New Yorkers.