Today I wore purple. I wore purple in support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) community. If you have been following the news you know that there have recently been a number of suicides blamed on anti-gay bullying.
The Human Rights Campaign organized a national statement of support for LGBT youth with its October 20, Wear Purple campaign. HRC’s website states, “Too many young lives have been lost because of anti-gay bullying. LGBT youth need to know they’re not alone, and that things do get better. Wear purple on October 20 to remember those we’ve lost and reiterate your support for a world where diversity is embraced, not ridiculed.”
Well, if you know me, you know I am not a fan of bullies of any size, shape or form. I have a particular distaste for those who feel a need to diminish others’ value because they are perceived as different. I support the message of tolerance that HRC promotes. I am happy to say that my institution and many members of the NDSU family do as well. There were many folks wearing purple at NDSU today. That makes me happy. It is so important for those who may feel isolated to know that they are not alone.
Another group that has been in the news recently- It Gets Better – uses its website to help LGBT youth that are presently struggling with what the future holds for them to see what their lives might be like as openly gay adults. They do this by featuring a series of videos that let youth know it gets better. The pledge of the It Gets Better project is:
Everyone deserves to be respected for who they are. I pledge to spread this message to my friends, family and neighbors. I’ll speak up against hate and intolerance whenever I see it, at school and at work. I’ll provide hope for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and other bullied teens by letting them know that “It Gets Better.”
Today, the color purple was more than just a color – it was a statement of support and remembrance. Today the color purple spoke volumes about what we will tolerate and what we will not. I hope the message was heard loud and clear – tolerance for difference and respect for individual identity will be embraced; and, there will be no tolerance for bullying. Yes indeed, move that purple crayon to the front of the crayon box and by all means – color my world with it.
Day four hundred and seventy-one of the new forty – obla di obla da