I saw a petition on change.org that troubled me greatly. The petition is from Matt Jolley, a high school senior from Worland High School. Mr. Jolley is an openly-gay senior, and his senior photo was reflection of that.
But, unfortunately for Matt, his school board denied him the right to publish his senior portrait in the yearbook. They reasoned that the photo was too political, and he must pay for the publication, since it was “an advertisement.”
So I did what I always do when I get mad: I got on Twitter, and I made shit happen.
I started watching for celebrities to tweet. When a celebrity would tweet, I would send them a plea to retweet a link to Matt’s survey.
I sent these to dozens of celebrities. And it worked. In total, the tweets were shown to at least 300,000 people. It cost me nothing, and earned Matt a lot of petition signers.
Here’s the first successful tweet, sent to LGBT icon/MTV personality Dan Savage…
Dan Savage retweeted it almost immediately, and then the petition started getting signed a little bit faster. So I kept tweeting. I follow a few celebrities, and I paid careful attention to them. When they would tweet, I would tweet. Within a few minutes, BAM! another retweet, this time from Chef Anne Burell.
I kept this up for the greater part of yesterday. Got a lot of traction by tweeting @adamlambert. He didn’t personally respond, but his fans did.
And then one final tweet, from @ChelseaVPeretti released a swath of new petition signers.
Twitter is full of free publicity, and it’s especially full of well-followed people that are willing and able to help. Had I worked harder, or had a team of people to help me, and used a hashtag to organize the campaign, this would have had an even greater effect.
Regardless, this was a very fun use of a Sunday afternoon. I learned a lot. I received hundreds of retweets yesterday. Not bad, considering I was in pajamas drinking wine all day.
BTW, I’m still mad at @RuPaul for not retweeting. He was on Twitter ALL. DAMN. DAY. and he didn’t retweet me once.