In 2009, Will Phillips, showed more courage at age 10 than many adults do their whole lives. After being raised to believe in the inherent worth of each person by his parents, Laura and Jay Phillips, in the small town of West Fork, Arkansas, Will put his values into practice when he refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance until gays could marry; or in his words, until “there truly is liberty and justice for all!”
Will and his parents have been celebrated and honored at not only the GLAAD Media Awards, but also by GLSEN, GetEQUAL, and most recently, as the Grand Marshal for Northwest Arkansas Pride. However, they have also had tremendous amounts of hate directed at them, including people claiming that his parents are “harming him” by raising him to be speak his mind and stand up for what is right.
I have been extremely lucky to become friends with Laura and Jay Phillips, and even had the opportunity to interview Jay and Will for the Podcast Beyond Belief earlier in June. During this interview, I spoke with Jay and Will about their love of Star Trek, and geekiness in general. I told them about DragonCon, one of the largest pop culture conventions in the world, held in Atlanta every Labor Day weekend.
I mentioned DragonCon to Laura again, and she explained that it would indeed be something that Will would go crazy for, and that his birthday was even in September, but that with all of their travel they would have to look at it for another year. Despite what people may think about “fame” and TV appearances, the Phillips are just like most of us, regular people struggling to get by.
And then I had an idea.
Surely, other people would join with me in thanking Will for taking a stand, and providing inspiration to people of ALL ages.
Surely, we could raise enough to get his family to Atlanta for DragonCon, and show them how much we appreciate the gift they have given us, the gift of a future with Will Phillips in it!
So, if you want to help get Will and his family to DragonCon in Atlanta THIS Labor Day for his birthday, PLEASE help me by donating below!
I have already booked their lodging, and will guarantee that I will do whatever it takes to get enough money to make this happen, even if it means filling in gaps myself.
For donors who will be at DragonCon, I am sure we can convince Will to come to a birthday party on-site :) I know for a fact that he and his family like cake and pie!
For more information on Will’s story, I have provided links below.
Will’s first TV appearance, with his father Jay Phillips, on CNN in 2009.
Will’s Award Acceptance Speech at the GLAAD Media Awards in March 2010, which ends with the Vulcan Salute, “Live Long and Prosper”
Will’s GetEqual Pledge
Thank you for helping to give back to this little boy, who has given us so much hope for the next generation.