When we hold LGBT rallies and organize marches, sometimes it’s like preaching to the choir. Real change only comes around when the masses get on board. Knowing that simple fact, a new website called Friendfactor is combining the power of celebrity with the reach of social networking to make mainstream support for gay marriage as impossible to ignore as Lady Gaga‘s shoes.
Awesome and hot actress Kristen Bell is one of the latest celebs to become a Friendfactor “friend-setter”; a trendsetter who cares about their gay friends’ rights and ask their other friends to care, too. Bell’s fans cared so much, they crashed the Friendfactor site after her first tweet about it.
AfterEllen: Your first Friendfactor tweet generated such an overwhelming response, it took the site down. How cool is that?
Kristen Bell: Hee hee! Yes, I was very proud. I had to resist the urge to do it again just to see if I could!
AE: Do you personally know or have any gay, lesbian friends who want to marry, but live in a state where they cannot?
KB: Yes! I studied musical theatre in New York. I made lots of friends [there] who had just, or were about to, come out of the closet. I also grew up having many gay and lesbian friends, so it just seemed like the norm. I have friends that still live in New York, the city that once encouraged us to be unique and celebrate our differences, who are still unable to marry their partners. They don’t have equal rights and that simply isn’t fair. It hurts my heart so much to know that my friends are not allowed to legally marry the one they love.
AE: What would Veronica Mars have to say about Friendfactor and its goal?
KB: Veronica always had a soft spot for the underdog. She stood up for what’s right, she didn’t like bullies, and followed a strict “live and let live” policy. I know she would support civil unions.
AE: In other news, we’re excited to see you in House of Lies with Don Cheadle. Can you give us any spoilers or anecdotes about the show?
KB: I’m very excited to start work on the show. The pilot was a lot of fun. Don is so smart, it’s intimidating, and so charismatic, it’s disarming. I think it’s the most risqué project I’ve worked on, which is also kind of exciting.
But I digress.
Friendfactor founder, Brian Elliot, said when he met Kristen and explained Friendfactor, she
immediately asked, “How can I help?”
He added, “Since then, she’s been our biggest advocate and she’s gotten many of her friends involved. She’s perfectly modeling how
effective you can be when you make this issue personal. Her Friend-setter page is even dedicated to one of her gay friends.”
In addition to Kristen, Sarah Silverman, Chelsea Handler and Cynthia Nixon all have Friend-setter pages. Elliot told me his wish list of future Friend-setters includes Lady Gaga, Ellen DeGeneres, Beyonce, Rihanna, Shakira and Sofia Vergara. He already has a friend in Vergara’s Modern Family co-star, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who would like to give you the Best. Wedding Gift. Ever.
How awesome is that? It makes me want to marry all you guys.