That's right. Last year on 10/20, people wore purple in support of the It Gets Better Project. I'm wearing my purple now, are you? If not, you should be, because there's a damn good chance bullying touched your life in some way. Were you the bully? Were you the one on the receiving end of the beat-downs (mental, emotional or physical)? Was someone you loved?
It Gets Better is a program aimed specifically to LGBT youth, but the problem of bullying is so pervasive that none of it should be ignored. In some ways, we've made strides and certain things that were once commonly used insults have--at least among most young people--have fallen out of fashion. It's no longer "cool" to call someone a fag or a retard or numerous other things. But bullying still exists and it's not okay.
When I used to teach high school, there were teachers who were incensed at the idea of their students using certain words (nigger, fag, dyke, retard...the list goes on) because they saw it as a form of bullying. But the openly gay student whose locker was broken into? He was the one fined for the damage. The chubby girl? It was perfectly acceptable in their minds for insults to be hurled her way. Apparently those were descriptive. Pardon me while I throw up all over again. These teachers even went so far as to make snide comments about a parent after conferences because the woman had the gaul to wear a leather skirt to conferences--the tramp.
This tramp made sure to wear leather to school every day for the rest of the semester.
The fact of the matter is, bullying doesn't stop once you're out of your teens. But it does get better, because the people who aren't assholes grow up and are against bullying. They stand in the corners of the people being mis-treated. It gets better because you know you aren't alone.
I told a friend today that I hope a time comes when we don't need to wear purple on 10/20. When bullying in all its forms disappears because the bullies no longer get the attention they crave. But until that time comes, I am Team Purple. Are you?
As for my NaNoRebels. Last week's post has a list of people participating. If you want to pimp this out and get a bigger group, please do. The more the merrier. In the meantime, the lovely Tammy Crosby has made us a little thing to put on our blogs (button? avatar? picture square?). I love it and I hope you do too. I might even use it as my twitter pic in November :) Grab it and help promote the cause. Mine in the sidebar will link back to the sign-up post. If you want to do the same, here's the linky for that: http://julieparticka.blogspot.com/2011/10/welcome-nanorebels.html