Yesterday was Spirit Day, the day in which we were all supposed to wear purple to either a) show our support for gay and lesbian youth or b) show our solidarity with the kids who have recently killed themselves because of the sucking of people who don't like gays. I love the hell outta gay and lesbian youth, and it took me a long time to find out that other people don't. In my high school, liking girls if you were a girl was an ok thing - liking boys if you were a boy wasn't something anyone tried (out loud). I sort of think it would have been ok, but our high school was a place where drugs were more popular than alcohol and by tenth grade everyone had already dated everyone of the opposite sex that was available and unrelated. As sheltered as it sounds, I didn't really know that some people were dicks about other people being gay.
Then, of course, I went to engineering school.
I remember trying to convince my college boyfriend and our roommate that I FUCKING HATED (yes, I'm still mad at him. It's a long story.) that 'fag' was not a word they should use to insult each other, and being told that I had no sense of humor.
I cannot imagine being gay in a place that is mostly filled with people who haven't yet realize that people are people, no matter what holes they like to stick stuff in. Moreover, I cannot imagine being brave enough, as a high schooler, to be open about who and what I like. My admiration for kids who do that is boundless. The bravery they exhibit just by walking into school every day is beyond anything I've ever been asked to exhibit.
All of this makes me feel sort of bad for what I'm about to say, but I'm going to say it anyway, because I think it's true.
A nation full of people wearing purple does not help those kids in any way.
A nation full of people teaching their children that being gay and being straight and being somewhere in between are all normal human attributes and nothing to be a jackass about? That would be helpful.
Maybe the purple is just meant to say 'I'm on your side'. The thing is, I'm guessing that half of Boulder wore purple today. Those aren't people who recently realized that gay teens take a lot of shit. They also aren't people who were somehow able to help the poor kids who have found suicide the only way out recently.
They are, however, people who are now able to say to their friends 'oh look, I wore purple - I CARE about the plight of gay and lesbian youths'.
There's nothing wrong with wearing purple. Caring is wonderful.
Putting on a purple shirt is not the same thing as helping to solve a problem.
Also, I'm trying something new over on Mangled Baby Duck - you can call it the results of my Marie Claire experiment.