You're standing in front of your Family and Friends prepared to make your dreams of a lifetime come true. It's at that moment that you are grateful that you have a professional guiding your ceremony. The Supreme Court has finally ruled upon this issue. Now is the time to plan your perfect LGBT Wedding. I have been performing Commitment Ceremonies since the beginning, and I am so pleased this has opened up for everyone to marry the one they Love. Contact Reverend Jacqui Weiks, Your LGBT Wedding Officiant
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Origin of the Red Ribbon for HIV / AIDS
Historically the red ribbon represented various awareness projects around the world. However, it wasn’t until the 1990’s that the red ribbon was used to raise awareness of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Acquired Immune Related Complex (ARC), and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
The Red Ribbon Project
In the spring of 1991, a decade after the rise of AIDS, The Red Ribbon Project was created by New York-based Visual AIDS Artists’ Caucus. This group of photographers, painters, filmmakers and costume designers shared gallery space known as PS122 in New York’s East Village.
Everything about the project was designed to keep it secret. The group wanted those involved to remain anonymous in order not to list an individual creator. Since the the red ribbon wasn’t a commercial tool, it was kept free of copyright. This prevented anyone from making a profit out of something aimed to raise awareness.
Red Ribbon Design
The group wished to create a symbol that demonstrated compassion for people living with AIDS. The inspiration is said to be taken from the yellow ribbons used to honor the U.S. soldiers serving in the first Gulf War. The color red was chosen to represent not only blood, but anger, compassion, and love. Pink and rainbow colors were rejected because of their close association with the gay community. AIDS was an illness that affected everyone.
The design was simple so anyone could make it. Initially, explanatory text was used with the red ribbon, but soon it wasn’t necessary. The group began distributing the red ribbons around New York’s art and theatre scene.
The Red Ribbon Televised
The 1991 Tony Awards marked the first major media success. For the awards, the group dropped off 3,000 ribbons at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway. Jeremy Irons, a presenter, wore the red ribbon on his tuxedo lapel, which introduced the symbol to a global television audience. The instant popularity and high demand for the red ribbons led the Caucus to outsource production. A charity working with homeless women made a half million red ribbons for distribution.
Over 10,000 red ribbons were boxed up and sent to Los Angeles for the Oscars. Both Bette Midler and Richard Gere openly talked about why they were wearing the ribbon, cementing its popularity and support.
After the death of Freddie Mercury, a concert was held at Wembley Stadium on Easter Sunday in 1992. Red ribbons were handed out in the audience, and over 100,000 were seen worldwide. In order to keep up with demand and to increase awareness, red ribbon events were held to help educate people and produce the AIDS awareness red ribbons.
Enduring Symbol of Solidarity
The effectiveness of the red ribbon led to other awareness projects, such as those for cancer charities. While some designs and items have been used for profit, the simple symbol of solidarity for those with HIV and AIDS still holds true. The red ribbon shows support for those with HIV and AIDS. Since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, 78 million people have been infected with HIV and 39 million people have died. World AIDS Day, a day of unity and commemoration, is Dec 1st.