This week, America’s Supreme Court made the historic decision to legalise same-sex marriage in all 50 states and, in reaction, the country promptly erupted into celebration.
There were parties and parades almost everywhere, as well as rainbows on every surface available; lighting up the White House, flags flying above houses and in parades, on clothing, and in hands.
And seven-year-old Zea Bowling was no different.
Celebrating at a pride parade in Columbus, Ohio, with her dad, Ryan Bowling, little Zea was suddenly confronted with one protestor’s anti-gay preaching. The ‘preacher’, who was brandishing a sign emblazoned with the words ‘You Need Jesus’, was protesting against the legalisation of same-sex marriage by attempting to interrupt and stifle the parade.
When Zea approached, clad in her rainbow skirt with pigtails, the preacher didn’t stop his tirade, or lower his voice – instead, he began to shout at the little girl, admonishing her and her parents.
But the way little Zea reacted would have made any activist proud.
Standing with a rainbow flag clutched tightly in her hand, Zea stood her ground in front of the protestor, and without even using words, made a little stand of her own.
And she wasn’t standing alone – soon, parade attendees were cheering her on, and high fiving her to show their support.
And no one was more supportive than her dad, who took to Facebook after the parade to praise his daughter.
“Zea didn't just flash the flag at that hatemonger, and bail. They went toe to toe, for several minutes, while he bellowed all of his fire and brimstone right in her face,” wrote Ryan Bowling on his Facebook, “Grown man vs first grader. She told me afterward that she did feel scared. The one thing the people of #comfest2015 never let her feel though? Alone.”
Talk about ‘pride’.