Hugely important. The next time I am gay-bashed — 40 stitches in my face the last time — I will not bat away the hand of whoever offers to help me up, whether they’ve met some credential for wearing a safety pin or not. I GUARANTEE you that some white/straight/able-bodied/native-born/English-speaking/male people will put on a safety pin & then not really step up in real life — but what else is new? Meanwhile, wearing symbols of solidarity performs another function that many “minorities” never imagine, much less see — that is how such symbols chill or halt some bigoted conversations, disrupt the assumptions that everyone “like us” agrees & erode the confidence of bigots & bullies when they are among only who they consider their “own kind” — all before I even open my mouth. I’ve been inside such enclaves & the defiance of any one of us matters.