October 20, 2011

Spirit Day

GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) had announced that October 20th was "Spirit Day".  Of course I got the new a bit on the late side, but instead of telling my three subscribers about my trials washing the dog, I figured this was more important.

First of all, I'm sure someone is wanting to know, "What is Spirit Day?"

Straight from GLAAD: "Millions of Americans wear purple on Spirit Day as a sign of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth and to speak out against bullying. Spirit Day was started in 2010 by teenager Brittany McMillan as a response to the young people who had taken their own lives. Observed annually on October 20, individuals, schools, organizations, corporations, media professionals and celebrities wear purple, which symbolizes spirit on the rainbow flag. Getting involved is easy -- participants are asked to simply "go purple" on October 20 as we work to create a world in which LGBT teens are celebrated and accepted for who they are. Learn more & go purple at www.glaad.org/spiritday."

I'll admit that I did not wear purple today.  I'm pretty sure I don't even own any purple clothing, but I can color one of my avatars purple.  It's the thought that counts?

I'm sure there are plenty of people who could give a rats-ass about GLAAD and especially Spirit Day.  If you are one of these people and still reading this, I implore you to just stay with me a while longer.  Even if you think that being "queer" is a choice and that all this is a load of crap, I think you'll at least agree with me that anything having to do with sexuality is rough when you're young.  The nervous fumblings of young love: strange urges, your body changing with the influx of hormones, feeling out of control.  It's not exactly a pleasant time in many respects....and that is if you measure up to the status quo!

I'm getting glimpses of the stupidity of youth when I get reports about my brother's kids.  Making bad choices for the sake of young love.  I cannot fathom how confusing......how much more confusing it can be for someone who is LGBT.  Even if it was a choice to be LGBT, which I don't believe for a second, it cannot be any less of a trying time than it is to be straight.  The straight kids get support, sometimes not the best of support, but support nonetheless, but the others?

I knew maybe two gay kids, possibly three, in high school.  Statistically speaking there had to have been more.  If there was any support structures for these kids, I sure never heard about it.  If there was support, then I might have known about a few more.

All kids need to be accepted for who they are, especially since in doing so we as a community help them develop into the adults they will become.  Odds are there is a LGBT kid in your life.  I'm sure there is a LGBT adult in your life.  You may be lucky enough to know them as they are, but for some I'm sure you have absolutely no clue.  Do them all a favor, mark your calendar for next year's Spirit Day.  Put in a reminder for a few day's head's up so you can buy a purple shirt if you need to.

Here is an Outlook reminder you can download to help remember.
(Save this file, don't open it up in your browser)

Edit: I just re-read through Blogography and saw that he had a link to the It Gets Better website.  If you missed Spirit Day like I did, but you want to still be supportive, head on over to It Gets Better and donate.  I noticed that one of their donations was for the It Gets Better book to be sent to your hometown school library.  Holy crap is that an awesome idea!  You can click here to jump to that particular donation. 


Dave2 said...

Well said. Being a teenager is already such a tough time for so many kids... adding bullying to the mix is more than anybody should have to bear. It's got to stop. For all our sakes.

Dave2 said...

Ha! I was commenting on your blog at the same time you were commenting on mine!

JINX! You owe me a Coke! :-)

Christopher Stogdill said...

I made and update while you were adding the second comment...