By Kevin OKeeffe
Originally published on Advocate.com April 18 2014 1:21 PM ET
It's not unusual to see five members of Westboro Baptist Church protesting an LGBT person. It's somewhat more unusual to see advocates and allies protesting back in a crowd 300 times the WBC's size.
Approximately 1,500 University of Massachussets Amherst students staged their own demonstration in support of newly out Division I basketball player Derrick Gordon, who Westboro had planned to protest. The counterprotest included speeches, signs and chants under the banner hashtag of #UMASSunited.
The demonstration — notably more energetic than five members of a church going through its own problems — also included protestors stripping down to their underwear in 30-degree weather. Why they stripped down to their skivvies isn't quite clear, but it was apparently an effort to support an openly gay athlete.
For his part, Gordon was incredibly grateful for the prideful display:
Thank you all for the SUPPORT!!!! #LGBT #BETRUE
— Derrick Gordon (@flash2gordon) April 16, 2014
Watch video from the protest, captured by MassLive, below: