Oct 20, 2010

Stop the HATE - #SpiritDay

Wondering why Twitter has suddenly gone purple? Today is #SpiritDay in honor of those lives lost to homophobia, transphobia, intolerance, and bullying. The following is a statement from GLADD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation). 

The idea behind Spirit Day, first created by teenager Brittany McMillan earlier this month, is a simple one, not dissimilar to the idea of "Spirit Week" held in many high schools, and can be summed up in three words: Everyone Rally Together.

Spirit Day honors the teenagers who had taken their own lives in recent weeks. But just as importantly, it's also a way to show the hundreds of thousands of LGBT youth who face the same pressures and bullying, that there is a vast community of people who support them.

Purple symbolizes 'spirit' on the rainbow flag, a symbol for LGBT Pride that was created by Gilbert Baker in 1978.

As one of the event's Facebook pages says: "This event is not a seminar nor is it a rally. There is NO meeting place. All you have to do is wear purple." 

Wearing purple on October 20 is a simple way to show the world that you stand by these courageous young people and a simple way to stand UP to the bullies. Remember those lives we've tragically lost, and show your solidarity with those who are still fighting. 'Go Purple' today!  

There are many ways that you can show your support on this day of remembrance. You can wear purple, Visit the GLADD site, make your Twitter avatar purple, make your Facebook profile purple, and download free graphics provided by GLADD and post them proudly on your profile. You can also blog. I have chosen to do all of these things. What is most important on this day is to spread love and tolerance. You may not agree with someone's gay or transgender lifestyle, but understand that this is their choice. Teasing, taunting, name calling, and violence will not turn a person 'un-gay.' The only thing you are achieving is spreading hate. (plus you look like a complete moron)

One last thing you can do today, and hopefully practice for the rest of your life. PLEASE tell (and show) your kids, nieces, nephews, neighbors children, that the word "gay" and "fag" are not terms that can not be interchanged with words like "stupid" or "lame." Statements like, "...that is so gay" and "...you look like a fag" are NOT okay. They will NEVER be okay. I know we see it in the movies. I know our friends may say it. But, it's not okay. Tell everyone it's not okay. Eventually, people will hear you. 

Now, go and get those purple pants on!

Happy Reading!