Today is Spirit Day: a day to stand up against the bullying faced by LGBT youth.
I just went purple on my “real” Facebook. I fully expect some of the remaining homophobes & transphobes on my friends list to either show up and spew their nastiness, or straight up unfriend me, but I’m trying to be optimistic.
And you know, I just don’t care. I feel the anxiety, but I don’t care. I think of my brothers and my cousins growing up hearing the same garbage I heard, living in the same hostile environment I lived in, and they deserve better. I’m willing to deal with a handful of hostile adults, no matter who those adults are, if it means they’ll get the change to grow up knowing they have at least one person in their lives who will still love them and be there for them, regardless of their orientation or gender.
I think I’m going to pop up throughout the day and post links to LGBT resources, information, art, and music. If anyone has any suggestions, leave me a comment and let me know!
First up is going to be “She Keeps Me Warm” by Mary Lambert, because every single time I hear her sing “I’m not crying on Sundays,” I immediately start crying. That one line sums up so much for me: the pain I felt when I was in love with a girl while I was in the church, the anger I felt whenever I heard people saying awful things about “homosexuals,” the raw exhilaration of finally deciding that I was done with all that hatefulness… I hear it all in her voice. And, very close to home, I especially appreciate the Corinthians 13 reference because Cor. 13 has become sort of a focal point for a very close relative of mine who has been questioning their relationship with the church and seems to be reconsidering some of their beliefs (YAY!).
In the post with my purple-ized profile picture, I also shared a link from Violence Prevention Works and highlighted these points as examples of why #SpiritDay is important and worth participating in:
- As many as 93 percent of teenagers hear derogatory words about sexual orientation at least once in a while, with more than half of teens surveyed hearing such words every day at school and in the community.1
- Negative name-calling and harassment about sexual orientation can be harmful to all students. Three out of four students who are bullied with such remarks are not identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (GLBTQ).2 These derogatory comments are often used broadly to inflict harm in a school setting.
- Seventy-eight percent of gay (or believed to be gay) teens are teased or bullied in their schools and communities, a percentage significantly higher than for heterosexual youth.