The story of Have A Gay Day begins with a young man from Buffalo New York, Jamey Rodemeyer. Jamey was 14 years old and took his life due to bullying, harassment, and people in his life not accepting his sexuality. Michael Knote, the founder of Have A Gay Day was watching a news story about Jamey and started a memorial page for his life. He was deeply impacted when he heard Jamey’s story and wanted to do more to make a difference and to create more of a stand against bullying.
After months of talking with different people and organizations Michael came to the realization that there were people trying to cash in on the tragedy of suicide when it came to youth. Stories were being pushed to get likes, shares and raise funds for personal profit surrounding tragedy.
Michael would continue the memorial page called RIP Jamey Rodemeyer and go to Buffalo New York in 2012 with the family of Jamey to have a memorial walk for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention raising over 17,000 dollars with friends and family for the organization.
On February 25th, 2012 Have A Gay Day was created as a Facebook page.
Have A Gay Day was created as a play on words but more so to provide a fun and safe space for any person that needed it. It embraced the rainbow, the diversity, and brought everything and everyone together as one big happy family. In the middle of the night it had rainbow takeovers. In the day it posted everything inspiring and life changing. It wasn’t about itself, it existed to create a better tomorrow for those that needed it through the sharing of memes, inspirations, and rainbows.
Have A Gay Day was posting rainbows and began growing and reaching countless people all over the world. As it began to grow people wanted to do more, people wanted Have A Gay Day to create a bigger impact. People wanted this Have A Gay Day to become a voice for the LGBT Community.
There was a fight around the globe for Equal Rights and Have A Gay Day was going to be a part of it. It was never the plan of Michael in creating this space that one day it would be taking on Equal Rights but that’s exactly what was about to happen. Have A Gay Day launched a fundraiser to put up digital billboards promoting equality and community. When all was said and done Have A Gay Day would have billboard campaigns in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan.
Have A Gay Day would become Have A Gay Day Inc. and by August 2014 Have A Gay Day Inc would become a 501c3 non-profit Charity with the Internal Revenue Service. It’s mission statement would be : To create a safe environment for the purpose of equality, education, and, support for the LGBT community and their allies.
Equality March in Cincinnati Ohio