White Knot Turns
||A year of visibility.
Frank Voci, Founder of White Knot for Equality, tells the story of White Knot.
It was a week after the 2008 elections. A week after Prop 8 passed here in California. And it was the first night there was no one on the streets protesting in West Hollywood where I live. It occurred to me that we couldn't march every night and we certainly couldn't carry signs around every day. We needed a simple way to maintain visibility. And we needed a tool to encourage conversation.
I experimented with ribbon the next day, until quite by accident I tied a piece in a knot and it hit me, everyone should have the right to tie the knot. We had our symbol. We immediately got rolls of ribbon and started production in anticipation of the Join the Impact rally that Saturday.
We weren't sure how they would go over, but as we started handing them out, people immediately got it and we knew we were starting something that could build awareness in a meaningful way. Awards season arrived quickly and we worked hard to get White Knots seen on red carpets, knowing how many people those events reach.
Twelve months later, White Knots have made appearances at all the major red carpet events and hundreds of White Knot kits have been sent to supporters around the world. White Knots can be seen worn in more than 1300 communities in all 50 states and 28 other countries.
Here are just some of the events and programs from the past year. Be sure to check out all the photos and videos and share your own story with us.
|The First White Knot
November 13, 2008
This was the first prototype made from some
white ribbon picked up at a local fabric store.
The diagonal cuts on the ends were added
the next day by Davis Mikaels.
|Join the Impact Rally LA
November 15, 2008
Ricki Lake, Marissa Jaret Winokur, and Lucy
Lawless wearing their White Knots. This was
the first time we gave out White Knots. We
gave out about 1000 on that day.
January 20, 2009
David Bender of Air America called for
supporters to wear White Knots at the
Inauguration. Anne Hathaway was an early
supporter and has worn her White Knot to
February 22, 2009
After weeks of work to make them aware,
many celebrities wore White Knots to the
Oscars including Dustin Lance Black who
won for best screenplay for MILK.
Continuing their long history of support for
LGBT people and overall social justice, Levi's
had White Knots all over their stores in New
York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. The
program was a huge success, bringing the
message of equality to many more people.
June 7, 2009
White Knots showed up again at the Tonys.
Seen here are nominees John Glover and
Gavin Creel. Broadway Impact continues to
fight for equality and support the White Knot
The White Knot is being used by students at schools throughout the country as part of campus activities to promote Marriage Equality and overall equality for LGBT people. Seen here passing out Knots is Scott Lincoln of Iowa State who started a group called White Knots of Central Iowa.
Hundreds of such small groups in schools, churches, and other communities are forming and using the White Knot as a tool in their own individual programs. They are making it their own and using it in ways that are specific to their communities. This is a large part of the purpose of White Knot. It's a universal symbol that enables anyone to be an activist in their own way.
Meet in the Middle
May 30, 2009
On the Saturday following the California Supreme Court's decision to uphold Prop 8 and continue the ban on marriage equality, more than 5000 people gathered in the middle of California from all over the state and around the country. White Knots were everywhere and most were made by volunteers from Texas who just wanted to help. There was even a giant White Knot hanging behind the stage (middle photo above). White Knot co-sponsored a bus from LA (left photo) to get people to the event in Fresno (about a 4 hour drive).
White Knot works with all communities and
cognizant of the divisive ways people have
used faith to debate equality, we have sought
to work with communities of faith throughout
the country. Seen here is Rev. Gene
Robinson accepting an award at the GLAAD
People brought White Knot to Pride
celebrations from LA to Baltimore this year,
taking the symbol and using it in all sorts of
creative ways. Seen here is a couple from
a photo booth which was part of the "Why
Knot?" booth put together by a group of
folks in Baltimore.
September 20, 2009
Celebrities continued to wear White Knots
at the last big red carpet event of the year.
These events are so important because of
the platform they provide us to keep the
issue of equality on the top of people's minds.
Seen here is Ken Howard, winner for Grey
|White Knot International
People are fighting for full equality all around
the world and many groups have taken up
the White Knot as part of their efforts to increase
visibility and generate conversation. Seen here
are three attendees of Christopher Street Day
in Trier, Germany. There a group called "Aktionsbuendnis gegen Homophobie" passed
out White Knots as part of the key messaging
of the day.
National Equality March
October 11, 2009
When more than 100,000 people descended on the Capitol to demand full equal protection under the law in all matters governed by civil law, White Knot was there. White Knot served as interim fiscal sponsor for the March, helped promote it through this website, Facebook, and Twitter, and White Knot board members helped wrangle speakers backstage at the rally. It was an incredible day that marked the beginning of a renewed focus on national priorities of equality and using grassroots to achieve equality.