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This amazing photo of a boy at an anti-gay march went viral for all the right reasons.

It's not the size of the man, but the strength of his gesture that matters.

This amazing photo of a boy at an anti-gay march went viral for all the right reasons.

On Sept. 10, 2016, a young boy faced off against thousands of anti-gay-marriage protestors.

Image by Manuel Rodriguez for Regeneración, used with permission.

Journalist Manuel Rodriguez captured this amazing photo during a Frente Nacional por la Familia march in Celaya, Guanajuato, in central Mexico. Frente Nacional is a nationwide pro-family organization that essentially condemns same-sex marriages.


Rodriguez says he initially thought the boy was just goofing around when he saw him stand in front of the crowd with his arms out.

But when Rodriguez interviewed the boy, who's about 12, the boy told him he has a gay uncle. He said he doesn't like the hatred his uncle faces from people like the ones he faced head-on in that march.

A sea of people march in the event held in Guadalajara, Mexico. Image by Hector Guerrero/Getty Images.

It's important to remember that the "machista" mentality unfortunately still runs rampant in Mexico.

Homophobia remains a big problem among Latino men, many of whom feel a cultural expectation to be the big, strong head of the household — something they feel is stereotypically contrary to gay culture.

But this incredible image is certainly one that speaks a thousand words. It shows that the younger generation is bringing a more open and accepting mentality into the mix in Mexico.

Yes, hate is a strong emotion. But love is even stronger. And it's love that made this boy take this huge stand against thousands of people.

We're born without judgments. And it's only after we begin to understand the world around us that we form prejudices and preconceived notions about people who lead different lifestyles than those we're used to seeing.

So let's lift this boy up as an example of what it means to choose love over hate.

To me, his grand gesture is proof that there's inherent good and acceptance in all of us. And that's worth celebrating.

Photo courtesy of Justin Sather
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Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

While most 10-year-olds are playing Minecraft, riding bikes, or watching YouTube videos, Justin Sather is intent on saving the planet. And it all started with a frog blanket when he was a baby.

"He carried it everywhere," Justin's mom tells us. "He had frog everything, even a frog-themed birthday party."

In kindergarten, Justin learned that frogs are an indicator species – animals, plants, or microorganisms used to monitor drastic changes in our environment. With nearly one-third of frog species on the verge of extinction due to pollution, pesticides, contaminated water, and habitat destruction, Justin realized that his little amphibian friends had something important to say.

"The frogs are telling us the planet needs our help," says Justin.

While it was his love of frogs that led him to understand how important the species are to our ecosystem, it wasn't until he read the children's book What Do You Do With An Idea by Kobi Yamada that Justin-the-activist was born.

Inspired by the book and with his mother's help, he set out on a mission to raise funds for frog habitats by selling toy frogs in his Los Angeles neighborhood. But it was his frog art which incorporated scientific facts that caught people's attention. Justin's message spread from neighbor to neighbor and through social media; so much so that he was able to raise $2,000 for the non-profit Save The Frogs.

And while many kids might have their 8th birthday party at a laser tag center or a waterslide park, Justin invited his friends to the Ballona wetlands ecological preserve to pick invasive weeds and discuss the harms of plastic pollution.

Justin's determination to save the frogs and help the planet got a massive boost when he met legendary conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall.

Photo courtesy of Justin Sather

At one of her Roots and Shoots youth initiative events, Dr. Goodall was so impressed with Justin's enthusiasm for helping frogs, she challenged the young activist to take it one step further and focus on plastic pollution as well. Justin accepted her challenge and soon after was featured in an issue of Bravery Magazine dedicated to Jane Goodall.

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Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

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