Few things warm our queer little hearts like stories from the Equality House do, and this one is no different.
The Equality House is a home painted the colors of the rainbow flag that stands in direct opposition to the Westboro Baptist Church compound in Topeka, Kansas. Recently, a 17-year-old girl drove from Kansas City to visit the house with her sister and to perform an emotional rite of passage.
The teen, who had seen the Equality House on Facebook, brought balloons that read "Happy Birthday" for their mother who had recently passed away. According to a Facebook post, the teen thought that this was the perfect time to symbolically come out to her mother about her bisexual identity, and attached a note to her balloon in order to (literally) send her that message.
"The Equality House receives up to 150 visitors a day, all coming with their own personal stories on what this house means to them," Aaron Jackson, the President of Planting Peace, the non-profit The Equality House is affiliated with, said in a statement. "It's humbling to hear the stories; some are funny, some are inspiring and so many of them are deeply personal and profound. It means so much to me that she and others come to the house and see it as a place to express themselves without judgement, and that it gives them the courage and hope to share a part of who they are with people who understand and support them. It's everything we hoped the house would represent and more."
The Equality House is an initiative spearheaded by Planting Peace that seeks to challenge the radical and homophobic rhetoric of the Westboro Baptist Church and support queer individuals. In the past, the house, which was originally painted the colors of the rainbow flag in March 2013, has played host to a child's lemonade stand for peace, a gay wedding and a drag show -- all essentially on the anti-gay church's front lawn.