Wear Purple on October 20 to commemorate teens who committed suicide due to bullying

On October 20th, 2010, people across North America and maybe the rest of the world  (that means you) are being asked to wear purple in honor of the 6 gay teens in the US who committed suicide in recent weeks due to bullying, either in their homes or at school. Their ages range from 13 to 19.  Purple represents Spirit on the LGBT flag. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and schools. The teens’ photos are on the right and their names are indicated below:

 

* RIP Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh (top)
* Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase (middle)
* Asher Brown and Billy Lucas. (bottom)

According to the US National Crime Prevention Council, 43% of teens experienced cyber bullying in the past year.

Councillor Joel Burns of Fort Worth, Texas who is gay, made a very moving address a few days ago before residents and members of Council and my heart broke when I watched the video. He got a standing ovation. If you would like to watch it I have enclosed the video with this post.  I’m also enclosing a link to a YouTube video (thanks Tish for bringing this to my attention) released by young Broadway stars “It gets Better Broadway sings for The Trevor Project”  in a celebration of  life, in the wake of LGBT suicides across the US. Please SHARE this original song and video to help send a message of hope and support. The song is available October 19th on iTunes, with all download proceeds benefiting The Trevor Project. Please support The Trevor Project by downloading this song on iTunes.

 

 

Author

I live in Canada and I love big dogs, music, movies, reading and sports – especially baseball

31 comments

  • Patty
    Thank you. We try to do a good job and we hope that it shows.

    I used to post a lot of reviews on Amazon until I realized how many of the reviewers didn’t really care about reviewing but had their own agenda, or a few of them used their reviews to be vitriolic. Now I only post a review there if an author asks me to do so.

    I noticed that a lot of people were wearing purple today so I hope that means the message is getting through, especially to the bullies and those who empower them by not making them stop before it’s too late. I trust that things will change gradually and that vulnerable kids will no longer be terrorized.

    Reply
  • The kidlet and I are wearing purple today. I thought I might be out of luck because it appeared my only purple item is a VERY casual t-shirt from Old Navy, but some digging in my drawer found a plain purple T I’m wearing under a white blouse so I’m covered. 🙂

    The kid had a purple sweater and socks. We are decked out. I see one of my other colleagues is also wearing purple, but to be honest, I work with people who really aren’t on-line ever, so most are probably oblivious although they did say it on the radio this morning.

    Awareness is always a good thing, even if it causes one tiny change.

    Reply
    • Thanks Tam. Every little bit counts and I’m glad you found something appropriate to wear. LOL

      Even one colleague wearing purple is a good thing and shows that others are paying attention. 🙂

      Reply
  • Sadly, I have no Internet acess this week except for my Blackberry, but will watch those videos as soon as I can. I’m on vacation and forgot to pack purple, but upon reading this post, ran out and bought a purple shirt. Thanks so much for the reminder about this very important event

    Reply
    • Eden
      Whenever you watch the videos, especially the one by Councillor Joel Burns which really moved me and made me cry numerous times, you will get a clearer picture of how much this issue has touched everyone.

      Thanks for buying the purple shirt – I’m sure it will look great. 🙂

      Reply
  • My clothes for tomorrow are all ready to go!

    I share the story with my students about how I was bullied and called names the summer I was 10 years old and it changed my life- forever. I made choices all the way through high school as a result of that summer. Words can be powerful motivators, but far too often they are used as weapons. The younger we can reach our children and influence their behavior, the better.

    Reply
    • Thanks Patty.
      Someone like you, a teacher, is very important in this fight to stop bullying in its tracks. Schools need to pay attention to this problem and provide a safe place for kids who are ‘different’ so they are not bullied to within an inch of their lives.

      Asher Brown and Billy Lucas were just 13 and 15 when they killed themselves. That’s how young the bullies are as well. Says a lot about our society doesn’t it?

      Reply
      • Unfortunately, when humor in TV shows and movies is built around putting people down and laughing at their embarrassment and humiliation, we manage to train our kids at an early age. My standard questions to my students when they make unkind comments are: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?

        This also dove-tails into the discussion about reviewing an author’s work in Josh’s column. Some negative reviews border on bullying. Many writers do what they do for cathartic reasons as well as creative ones. A nasty review is a trip down memory lane for many writers, I imagine, and that just plain hurts.

        As the saying goes: why can’t we all just get along?

        Reply
        • Hi Patty
          I understand your point about kids learning to poke fun at others from television and other media. However, if we as parents, teachers, friends, schools and most of all churches (which are the most homophobic organizations in the world I think,) root out the bullying at its source, then hopefully most of it will be eliminated. Kids who are different (smaller, minorities, gay, very shy etc.) will always be picked on but it’s when it gets to the point where it’s reached today that we all need to pay attention.

          Some negative reviews border on bullying. Many writers do what they do for cathartic reasons as well as creative ones.

          Re negative reviews, I hope that the reviews on this site are not cruel. Instead of saying “this book sucks” or gutting the books altogether we try to put a positive spin on them, except in rare cases when a book is so awful I wonder how it ever made it into print. I had a parting of the ways with one reviewer over a year ago because of sarcastic comments in her reviews. The one point I would make is that if someone writes a book and it’s offered for sale, that’s completely different to writing for cathartic reasons only and offering a story free to friends and fans. Readers have a right to expect certain standards if they buy something, and books are no different to a movie or a bottle of wine, and reviewers are readers.

          There are some review sites that delight in making fun of authors and their books. The one thing I ask all reviewers here is that they do not make their reviews personal about the author – we review books not authors. On the other hand if we review a book that’s really bad, since this site reviews for the readers we feel it’s our responsibility to point out what didn’t work for that particular reviewer (and it’s always one person’s opinion) so that other readers would know upfront – buyer beware. 🙁

          Reply
          • Wave, I LOVE your review site. This is one of the only review sites I read anymore because of the quality of the reviews and the civility of the people who comment and respond to the reviews. The reviews are honest, but fair.

            I was thinking more specifically of Amazon where climbing the ladder of success or promoting your favorite author involves stepping over the backs of others. Those are the comments that are made by anonymous bullies.

            On a happier note, many people in my work place wore purple today, some even by accident which seems cosmic somehow. My daughter reports that many kids in high school wore purple- yeah!

            Reply

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