Yesterday, I wore purple. I wore it out of love, support, and remembrance.
We all have been hearing about the terrible suicides among LGBT teens who have been bullied and pushed to the point that they just cannot stand it.
I will never fully understand what it is like to be bullied on the basis of my sexual orientation or gender identity. Being straight, I am given rights that many other people are not. And my straightness gives me an ability to blend into the "mainstream". But I have seen other people who were bullied, ridiculed, ostracized, and terribly hurt, on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Let's face it, being a kid is hard enough. Heck, being an ADULT is hard enough, just learning to accept and love yourself. But throw into that mix being taunted, and even threatened, all for simply being who you are. No one should ever be made to feel as unworthy as these kids were.
Many LGBT youth have few role models. They fear the reaction of loved ones if they reveal their true selves. They long to have the fairy tale love they were raised on, but do not think it is out there for them, simply because they are different. And very few have anyone to talk to about life as an LGBT adult, so they are afraid of what they may be facing for the rest of their lives. Which is why Dan Savage created a wonderful project called It Gets Better. Hundreds of people, some celebrities and well know people, some everyday men and women, have submitted videos aimed at LGBT youth to tell them that "It gets bettter", to tell them they are loved, and to hold on, because life is so worth it.
Some viral campaigns started to devote 10-20-10 to Spirit day, to encourage GLBT youth. All participants were encouraged to wear purple to show support. I saw these events posted on Facebook, and decided to join in. I will never know what it is like to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. But I do know what it is like to be human, and to be hurt and devalued. So, this is my way of spreading the message, to all LGBT youth and adults, both living and departed:
I support you. I remember you. I love you.