"We can be part of the rebellion and we can fight evil."
Earlier this month, the entire Earth was shocked at the deadliest mass shooting in American history when 49 people were murdered in Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. One of the victims was Christopher Andrew 'Drew' Leinonen, the best friend of IGN Comics editor Joshua Yehl. In honour of his friend, Yehl has launched a petition that asks that his friend be forever remember as Star Wars' first LGBT character.
Yehl launched the petition on Monday morning that asks Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and Disney CEO Bob Iger to commemorate his friend by using him as the inspiration for Star Wars' first LGBT character.
In the message that accompanies the petition, Yehl has wrote;
"I’m writing this letter to request that Drew’s passing be honored by using him as inspiration for the first-ever LGBT Star Wars character to appear in a movie. How this is done -- using his likeness, running his name through one of those Star Wars Name Generators, etc. -- is totally up to you. You are all masters of your craft, so I know that whatever you come up with will be marvelous.
He then states that the character would not only honour 'Drew' but all LGBT people that have ever been the subject of hate;
This character will not only honor Drew but all of the other victims at Pulse in Orlando, including his boyfriend Juan Ramon Guerrero, and every LGBT person to ever lose their life to hate.
Yehl supports his petition by showing that Star Wars has always prided itself on it's diversity;
"After A New Hope, steps were taken to expand and diversify the cast, giving us the smooth-talking Lando Calrissian and Rebel pilots played by people of color. The tradition of making Star Wars more inclusive continued with the casting of Daisy Ridley as Rey and John Boyega as Finn, the main protagonists of The Force Awakens. It’s my hope that Star Wars will take another step forward by introducing their first-ever LGBT character in a movie."
Yehl finishes up his touching petition with a message about Drew;
"Simply put, Drew was a remarkable human being, and I can’t think of a more perfect tribute to his legacy than this. Nothing would make him happier than for all the little gay nerds out there to have their own Star Wars character to look up to."
At the time of writing, the petition has gained over 3,100 signatures and you to can add your name to the petition linked at the bottom of the article. As Yehl pointed out, Star Wars prides itself on its diversity. It made major strides for diversity in the 70's and continues to do so today.
Spread the word on Twitter. Use the hashtag #PutDrewInStarWars. Share the petition online. Make sure this petition is seen by Disney. The LGBT community is underrepresented in almost all forms of Media. Star Wars can prove once again that it breaks the barriers of diversity by not only including an LGBT character, but honouring the victims of Orlando by doing so.
As well as making a petition, Joshua has made a video to help spread the word of the petition which you can check out below!