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To think that we must still report on anti-gay protests seems absurd, so outdated. Unfortunately, not everyone can think and act as “progressively” as many of us would hope for.

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I remember growing up with ONE friend with openly gay parents. She was often teased for it; outcasted. Today, in the U.S., such things just won’t stand. It also seems that kids are becoming more and more unfazed by people’s backgrounds, skin color, sexual orientation, etc. Maybe that’s why, in the face of such children are fighting for equality.

On Sept. 10, 2016, a young boy faced off against thousands of anti-gay-marriage protestors in the middle of a street in Celaya, Guanajuato. The scene was captured by journalist Manuel Rodriguez.

boy at anti-gay march

“At first I thought the child was only playing,” Rodriguez explained to Regeneracion. However, Rodriguez later interviewed the child, who told the reporter, “I have an uncle who is gay and I hate the hatred.”

Thousands of groups protested against same-sex marriage over the weekend across Mexico due to President Peña Nieto’s proposal to change the country’s constitution to allow same-sex marriage nationally.

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While same-sex marriage is permitted in Mexico City, as well as in Coahuila, Quintana Roo, Jalisco, Nayarit, Chihuahua and Sonora, it remains illegal in many of Mexico’s 31 states.

The marches, which were called for by the National Front for the Family, a coalition of civil society organizations and various religious groups, covered Mexico’s far north all the way to the Yucatan peninsula.

Despite the hateful marches, the image of the child standing up against nearly 11,000 protestors is what people really want to talk about.

Homophobia is still a huge problem among Latino men, with many of them feeling a cultural obligation to be the strong and manly head of the household—this, they feel, is contrary to gay culture.

Nevertheless, this incredible image proves that the younger generation doesn’t see things so black and white. They are bringing a more open and acceptable mentality into the historically homophobic Mexican culture.

The fact that this photo went viral says that, while hate is strong, love is even stronger. And while we love that this boy stood up for equality, he loves too, and he will fight for that love.

Rodríguez’s captivating photo has people reminiscent of the famous “Tank Man” shot, in which a young Chinese man stepped out in front of a line of tanks in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989, a mere one day after China’s military killed hundreds of protesters.

We learn to judge. We are born with an open and curious mind that knows not how to categorize a person, place or thing. We are taught to form prejudices and preconceived notions as a means for understanding the world and our place in it.

Nelson Mandela once said:

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

The boy in this photo chose love over hatred. Let’s see his actions as proof that there is good and acceptance in all of us.

Image: Manuel Rodriguez

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