Support Love Goes Viral: More Than a Fashion Statement

Recently, Boston College’s GLC has expanded their Support Love movement by integrating a photo campaign on their Facebook page. Joon Park, A&S ’18, is at the helm of the project. We sat down with Joon to find out more about GLC’s ongoing efforts to bolster Support Love via social networking.

The Gavel: For those who may not know, what is the role of the Support Love campaign here on campus?

Joon Park: The Support Love shirts have been out for a very long time, and I think a lot of people--before the [new] campaign--just wore the shirts. They soon became a commodity item, and people didn’t know why they were wearing the shirt. They saw their friends wearing them and it became a fad. I think it’s important to realize why we support love. This campaign was started to challenge people to start thinking about why they personally support love.

You’re speaking about your photo campaign. Can you tell me about the specifics of the initiative?

Its main medium is through Facebook right now. I think it’s the easiest way for this to pervade throughout the school since most people have Facebook. We tried to go for something that’s very idiosyncratic, very individual. So it’s a gray background and the shirt—we have different colored shirts—is the only thing in color.

Photo courtesy of BC GLC / Facebook

Photo courtesy of GLC / Facebook

What do you hope to accomplish with this new campaign?

First of all I want it to pervade throughout campus. I want people to start talking about, “Hey, did you see Sally’s post about why she supports love?” Stuff like that: campus-wide conversations. Eventually I want these conversations to reach people who never would normally have these conversations in the first place.

Just to clear something up: there is a Facebook page where the photos go up where people can follow them?

Yes, all the photos can be found on the GLC page.

You touched on this, but can you speak more on how this campaign’s goal plays into GLC’s mission as a whole?

GLC’s main mission right now is to create a more inclusive environment for the LGBTQ community. But it’s very different from other schools' LGBTQ communities in that it’s part of student government; it’s part of UGBC. Some students might not find that that’s what they want, but personally, I find it very empowering that UGBC is offering a marginalized group such a leadership position. I came in here being called derogatory names, and I remember the first thing I wanted was a support group; this is what I found. Eventually, what it does is preach inclusivity for all students. It’s not exclusive to just people who identify as LGBTQ; there are straight people in the club as well.

Photo courtesy of GLC / Facebook

Photo courtesy of GLC / Facebook

What do you think we can do to raise awareness for your cause as a student body?

I think we’re doing a good job so far, but at the same time, not enough people are aware of GLC’s role on campus. The best way to do it is to focus on fresh minds. [We’re] having these talks and conversations in residential life. Right now we have a “Queer Peers” program, and its purpose is to go--through ResLife--to residential halls and talk about heteronormativity and homophobia.

Are there currently any ways for students to get involved with your photo campaign or with other GLC initiatives?

GLC is open to the public. We have our meetings on Sundays at 5:00 p.m. and the location is subject to change. It’s open to everyone; all our events are open to everyone. As for the campaign, it was originally intended to be more of a candid thing, but we know that the campaign does need to have some momentum. Initially we’ve been using UGBC people, people in GLC and people who have something of a campus presence to get it going, but eventually it’s going to become a candid thing. If I see someone wearing a Support Love shirt, I’m just going to stop them—kind of like a Humans of New York deal.

Photo courtesy of GLC / Facebook

Photo courtesy of GLC / Facebook

That’s very cool. This is your initiative, so is there anything else you want to speak on that we haven’t covered in order to get the word out?

I would just say that if you were ever stopped and asked why you support love, I would want people to be very receptive of the idea and not be so resistant. If you’re wearing the shirt then you’re obviously wearing it for a reason. I would want people to represent the shirt in the best way possible by fully supporting love and giving me a statement.

If you have a Support Love shirt and would like to be involved, you can contact Joon Park at [email protected].

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Evan Martinez