Rainbow Shoelaces Support the LGBTQ+ Community

Butterfly Effect Colors the World

Fifth graders topped off a meaningful project: Rainbow Shoelaces. First established by queer teenagers Abbie Kelly and Max Dawn in Broken Hill, Australia, the colorful initiative promoted the support of LGBTQ+ representation by adolescents sharing rainbow beads with other minorities in town. With constant encouragement, the beads went worldwide. More so, Christian Hull, a gay tik-tok celebrity openly supported the effort, stating, “It is a fantastic, simple idea.”

Ms. Morissette discovered the project through BTN News and immediately saw its potential. BTN stands of Behind the News, an Australian educational news program for upper elementary and middle schoolers. She said, “Just hearing about it through that news broadcast, seeing that that’s something that we can carry over to our school, and just how excited the students were when I talked to them about the organization made me select this project.” 

When Ms. Morissette reached out, Sophie Angell, Abbie Kelly’s mother, sent over hundreds of beads. Ms. Morissette expressed her delight: “It is free. Her mom had mentioned the price of shipping, but then she didn’t send the price of shipping to me. And then, suddenly, I got a message from Australia Post saying my packages were on the way. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, they just sent it!’”

Beads of different colors were shipped directly from Australia, where the project was initiated. Photo by Raina Lee.

Fifth graders and the members of LGBTQ+ Organization for Various Ethnicities (LOVE) donned their sneakers with colorful beads and voiced their support for all sexual orientations and identities. Olivia in 5th grade said, “At first, I was thinking, ‘what would people think of me when I wear this on my shoelaces?’ I was quite questioning myself, but I eventually wore it.”

The fifth graders show their support for the LGBTQ+ community by being part of the Rainbow Shoelace Project. Photo provided by Ms. Morissette.

These small deeds allowed students to offer public assistance to those who struggle in this society. Ms. Morissette added, “Doing something like putting beads on their shoes can really be a signal to someone in the LGBTQ+ community or who’s looking to talk about it.”

Pyo and Joseph show off their newly added rainbow shoelaces. Photo by Raina Lee.

Students also held a short discussion afterward. Pyo in 5th grade voiced, “Don’t bully queer people. They can be whoever they want to be.” 

Courageous actions like this trigger a butterfly effect, in which something little builds up to a large significance. Anticipate more warmth and creativity to voice support for minorities.