The first official post of the magnificient theme for Tuesday: Walking the Tightrope.  Get ready for a possible rise in blood pressure.

This week’s issue focuses on the anti-gay-bullying movement expected to take place across the country on October 20th, which is also known as the LGBTQ “Spirit Day”.    The movement began as a simple blog posting on Tumblr and spread to become a mass-media movement, featured in various Facebook groups and promoted through Youtube videos. According to one Facebook group, the day hopes to honor the recent suicides due to bullying and harrassment regarding sexual orientation.  The color purple was chosen because of its representation of  “spirit” on the LGBTQ flag. The event has raised controversy across the nation as individuals voice their opinions about the event itself and the deeper issues being brought to the surface of homophobia, tolerance, and harrassment.

Bullying, hate, insecurity, and suicide are just four of the many complex issues surrounding the event.  The cruelty which often results from fear or hatred often has a tremendous effect on the victims.  There is no doubt that this issue needs to be addressed in schools, and perhaps even the world at large.

A few points to consider about the issue:

  1. Why the color purple?  While the association is made to the representation of the LGBTQ flag, doesn’t this counteract efforts towards disassociating COLOR with sexual or personal preferences?
  2. Children across the nation are tormented every day for various characteristics and issues, including weight, hair color, national origin, family issues, and intelligence.  Why focus so narrowly on gay-bullying?
  3. The old offense vs. defense argument.  Should we be defensive against the bullies, or taking proactive measures to ensure that kids 1) don’t bully others and accept them and 2) have the ability to feel confident and secure in themselves while knowing everyone is a little insecure sometimes?
  4. Honoring suicide is not the path to take.  Taking one’s life is NEVER the answer to any problem.  While I am sad for the individuals feeling like they had no options, I feel sorry FOR them more because they did not understand how ignorant such a thought is.  There is always an option, always something else to do–even if that option is making it through to another day.

Overal, the movement seems to be superficial and hollow at best.  The hope is that the gesture will bring unity and build firm resistance against bullying.  But how will those who choose (for whatever reason) to not wear purple be treated?  Will the masses turn on them, accusing them of “homophobia” or of being heartless and apathetic?  The goal is acceptance for all, to NOT judge what someone looks like on the outside, to NOT judge them for their tastes or opinions.  To accept (not merely tolerate) requires moving past all superficial indicators of WHAT someone is and figure out WHO they are as a person.

When will society realize that it truly is ACTION that speaks the loudest?  I could wear a purple shirt and say that everyone deserves to be free from the cruelty seen in the world, but until I stand up and demand it, until I will not stand by and watch a boy thrown into his locker or a girl cry from being ambushed by obscenities and slander, there will be no change.

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