Equality House turns two years old

Grace Foiles

On March 21, members of the LGBTQ community and their allies gathered at the Equality House to celebrate the two-year anniversary of the house’s creation. 

Davis Hammet, director of operations at Planting Peace said that in 2012, he and Aaron Jackson, president of Planting Peace, were in New York City when they came up with the idea of painting a house across from Westboro Baptist Church a rainbow color.

“We got on Google earth and found out that there was a house for sale on the block, we came here in early 2013, and on March 19,2013, we painted the house,” Hammet said.

Over the course of two years the members of the house have been a part of several demonstrations and events. There was a wedding ceremony to put pressure on the Defense of Marriage Act as well a lemonade stand set up by a young girl named Jayden, and the house’s annual Drag Down Bigotry event where they host a drag show on the front yard.

“We put on all of these community inclusive events which is so important because we’ve talked to so many people who tell us that when we put on events here it’s the only time they can be who they are, everywhere else they have to downplay parts of themselves or even lie, but they come to this house when we put on events and they get to be who they are,” Hammet said.

“[The house] became a symbol of international love and peace and standing up for what’s right and being who you are and really living life in color,” Hammet said. 

Hammet said the house loves to be able to put on all of these community events.

“This anniversary is just another reflection of that,” Hammet said. “We’re celebrating all of the change that’s happening in the world, we’re building momentum for all the struggles we have to move forward on and we’re embracing each other in love.”

Hammet said the house is most powerful when it generates conversation.

“Honest, vulnerable dialouge is what moves the world forward,” Hammet said. “So engage in that and make sure that you are a visible vocal force for social justice and social good and to always use non-violence as a means to achieve peace as an end.”

More information can be found at plantingpeace.org.