Humankind may still have a ways to go in terms of acceptance of the queer community, but there's one place now that is officially LGBTQ friendly — space.
In a video released Monday, global nonprofit Planting Peace showed the extraordinary journey it took to plant the first-ever Pride flag in space. Armed with a GoPro camera, and a high altitude balloon (an actual space shuttle launch costs about $450 million), Planting Peace launched the flag from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The flag ascended 112,050 feet, and at its peak orbit reached 21.1 miles above Earth. It hovered some three hours up there, then descended in a free fall.
The symbolic gesture of declaring space LGBTQ friendly is meant as a show of solidarity for the ongoing struggle for human rights for the community, and "moving us closer to a universal understanding that all people deserve to live freely and love freely without fear and discrimination," Planting Peace said on its website.
In an interview with The Huffington Post, the organization's president, Aaron Jackson, said:
The backdrop of space gave us a stunning, inspiring and peaceful canvas for our message of hope to our LGBTQ family. I would love for LGBTQ children who are struggling to see this, and look up to the stars and remember that the universe shines brightly for them, and they are not alone.
Social media, of course, loved it.