>Purple Reigns

20 Oct

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I really don’t know where to begin with this post.  I have been struggling with it all day.  In a previous post, I took umbrage with the It Gets Better campaign.  I didn’t think the message was appropriate.  I didn’t think they were doing enough.  It just didn’t sit well with me.  There were many of you who commented and I began to step back and look at it a bit differently.  One comment by a reader named Robin really stuck with me:
“I wish I’d had videos and sites like that when I wanted to kill myself. I think it’s easy to feel like nobody is doing enough and I agree in a way, there is so much MORE that needs to be done but if some of these videos makes a teenager feel less alone just for a little bit then that gives me a small sense of peace.”
It made me realize that no, they weren’t going all Stonewall about it all.  They weren’t shouting and stomping and nut kicking and throwing their bricks hard enough – maybe they weren’t even throwing bricks at all – but they were doing something.  They were offering hope.  They were offering some semblance of support to someone out there who felt like they hadn’t a friend in the world.  They were giving a voice to hundred of folk out there who had none.  I was wrong.
Today, one young girl began a showing of solidarity on Facebook inviting others to wear the colour purple in support of acceptance for the GLBT youth, against the bullying and hate, and in remembrance of those that had taken their own lives in desperation.  It exploded into an internet sensation.  It was everywhere today.  Folk were changing their avatars and personal icons to purple themed images, entire websites were supporting the cause, everywhere you looked people were wearing purple, blogs abounded on the subject.  It was quite a surprising (for me anyway) show of solidarity.  Then there were the haters…  And oddly enough, most of them were members OF the GLBT community.  I came across one that really just left me slackjawed.  It read (and no, I am not crediting or linking to it – it’s not someone I read regularly; it came across as a retweet on Twitter today):

“Fuck wearing purple today. I’m sorry, but come on. Does a bunch of people wearing green on St. Patrick’s mean jackshit to you? Do you think uninformed, hateful people will see a sea of purple and:

A) Give a flying fuck?

B) Change their ways?

C) Even notice?

Because I don’t think that is what will happen…”

It went on to urge you to take some (actual) action rather than (just) wearing purple, but the underlying distaste for the whole event was there.  (And it really just comes across – especially in reading the comments and his retorts to then – as a bitter ol’ queen with a stick up his ass, but I digress…)  Why?  Why discourage those that do want to show support?  Why downplay a collective effort at something positive?  Is it going to change the world?  No.  Is it going to make a huge difference in the general progress towards equality?  Probably not.  But just imagine with me, if you will, that one kid that is over it – ready to end it up – that has given up and is ready to hurl his or her self into oncoming traffic like Martha Dunstock – logging on to Facebook or Twitter or MySpace or where the fuck ever and seeing half the world turned purple in support of them.  And it makes a difference.  Isn’t that alone worth it?  Is every single person that participated today genuine?  Probably not.  Many did it because many were doing it.  Many may do nothing beyond today.  So be it.  If it made a difference to one person, it mattered.
And it is getting better.  Little by little.  Step by step.  So it’s not Stonewall.  Stonewall was the beginning.  This is another cog in the wheel.  We, for the first time in my lifetime, have projects and organizations like It Gets Better, NoH8, Give a Damn, and the Trevor Project with public role models speaking out and encouraging my community to strive for and believe in a better life.  Encouraging people to keep the faith and not give up.  So it is getting better.  And it will continue to do so.
And for every crappy, discontent and ugly blog post and piece of hate today, there were ten more out there reveling in the positive message that today was meant to be.  Kenn Chaplin was one of those.  He sums it up best by saying:

Just remember that things have come a long way in terms of lgbt rights and acceptance since I, or your parents, were in school. Hang in there, IT GETS BETTER.


[And forgive this post for being a big ol’ discombobulated mess.  I still can’t seem to wrap my head around what my heart is feeling or make my words cooperate – but you get the idea.  -Rabbit] 
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16 Responses to “>Purple Reigns”

  1. The Empress October 20, 2010 at 9:27 pm #

    >There is a saying about how a smile or a simple act of support can change someone's life. Showing compassion for others should be the norm not the exception. So to all those haters out there: f*ck the hell off!!Great post Rabbit! Love you longtime. xohttp://rantersbox.blogspot.com

  2. Lynne H. October 21, 2010 at 4:28 am #

    >One voice..one idea..one HUGE change can occur.. Keep posting, educating, ranting, supporting Rabbit and it WILL get better..it simply must…Love this poste.Thank you 🙂

  3. Lovesick Fool October 21, 2010 at 5:23 am #

    >I wore purple yesterday because Australian time was ahead. I wore it because I have a friend who's a homosexual and because I'm against homophobic bullying. It's stupid and petty. Ok, so not everyone will support homosexuality and that's understandable but that doesn't mean you have to go out of your way to discourage someone's way of life.

  4. Jumble Mash October 21, 2010 at 8:04 am #

    >Well freakin' said. Thank you. I'm gonna link this post to my Wear Purple post.

  5. The Barreness October 21, 2010 at 8:38 am #

    >Um…how out of touch am I? I had no idea about this pruple movement until reading this post.I've been too ill to check Facebook I guess.Damn, I would totally have supported it.And you're right – perhaps people could devote some of the energy they use to criticise others for actually accomplishing something.Imagine what could happen then.- B x

  6. Laugh. It's Life in Progress October 21, 2010 at 9:17 am #

    >Great post Rabbit! I didn't blog about the Wear Purple movement, I did wear purple… and I actively support my friends and family that are LGBT… I do what I can when I can and realize that there are many who talk big… but do very little. It's a character flaw in my opinion. Thanks for the great post! There have been more improvements with how things are "equalized" since back in say the 60's… but we still have a LONG way to go. Just my thoughts. Much Love Rabbit!

  7. Raven of the Green Mountains October 21, 2010 at 9:31 am #

    >I get the idea Rabbit. 🙂

  8. Robin October 21, 2010 at 9:43 am #

    >Ok don't laugh at me but your post actually brought tears to my eyes, I'm such a fucking sap. The whole bullying thing I think will stick with me my whole life but then again I'm ultra sensitive, always have been. I wish I could hug some teenagers who are being bullied or just feel really alone but I think I'd get in trouble for randomly hugging kids on the street. I'm just glad something is being done and it's getting out there. All these years I've wished someone would do or say something. I'd love to get more involved, there are a select few things I feel this strongly about.

  9. Televise My Life October 21, 2010 at 10:15 am #

    >Being honest, the only reason I came to this blog was because my friend Mia (Mice) kept going on about how she stalks you…now I see why! (no worries, I'm not going to stalk you haha)About this post though. It was just a few days ago that I found out about the "It Gets Better" and I completely agree with you. Even if it's not going to make a HUGE difference, as long as the message reaches one person, that's enough.We still have a ways to go as far as LGBT rights are concerned, but small things like this is what makes me believe that LBGT people will have the rights they deserve one day.

  10. Toni October 21, 2010 at 10:18 am #

    >I loved this post. It actually made me tear up a little bit. I wore purple yesterday. But, even more important to me was where I heard about the event. My younger brother is in high school and he was the one who told me. He and a bunch of his friends wore purple yesterday and I think that is one of the greatest things I have ever heard. Especially living in a small town in Idaho, where religion and conservative politics seem to rule all. If there is even one gay teenager who goes to my brother's school who saw that show of support and somehow felt better because of it, then I think that's all that matters.

  11. Rabbit ツ October 21, 2010 at 10:50 am #

    >Thanks for all the comments, y'all. This post came out nothing like I wanted it to, but it is all kinds of rad that you all get it. I really had a hard time with this one. I've got a great group here for which I am more than just a li'l bit grateful. Y'all are the best. Thanks again.

  12. The Absence of Alternatives October 21, 2010 at 11:24 am #

    >Thank you for supporting those who support you. Does that sound silly? But I really do appreciate this post: while I was changing my avatars to purple and wearing my purple shirt, I wondered how much good this act of mine was doing? Nobody in real life noticed my wearing purple, and srly I work downtown and I did not spot a single purple item of clothing yesterday (wtf? esp. since purple is the IT color this fall. So ppl here are not only social-progress retarded but also fashionably challenged?) I felt like such a hypocrite: really? this is the only thing I could do? Wearing purple? My son is being called names at school and I haven't done jack about it (albeit at his request; of course I was ready to go ninja ass on the little punk's ass…) I am so sorry. It's like all I can offer is mere talk… Sorry for the rambling. All I really wanted to say was Thank you.

  13. Nubian October 21, 2010 at 12:41 pm #

    >Sitting here with kleenex ~ powerful post Rabbit.

  14. Nariane October 21, 2010 at 1:05 pm #

    >I retweeted this particular blog.At the risk of being considered "uncaring" – I feel that all these acts of support (Purple for non-bullying, pink to support breast cancer, yellow to support whatever colour it supports) and things like "post this in your status if you care" (and then they guilt you with the "most won't") – these don't do shit.Bullying takes all forms – if someone is going to bully you, they'll bully you based on whatever they got – gay, tall, skinny, short, fat, the colour of your skin, the lisp, etc. In my case I was tormented because I have red hair, and The Bully decided that was enough. If a bunch of people had dyed their hair red for a day would that have sent a message to the bully? Hell no! The bullying occurred when they had me alone and cornered. A meaningless act of solidarity wouldn't have changed anything.What needs to change is The Bully – I have no idea what that takes.I have Boobies. I have friends and family who have battled breast cancer – some lost and some are still with us. Wearing pink on a specific day in support of this cause does NOTHING. My wearing pink, your wearing pink – Big fat NADA. Research into cause, and cure is not affected one bit by a bunch of people wearing a colour, making their avatars tinged to a colour. Instead I fundraise, I run for a cure, and take action.If we want to do something – stand up to bullies. Don't let bigots get away with stuff – call people out on their backwards views. Hold politicians accountable. Speak out. Take action.All purple day did was allow people to become complacent. Now they can say "well we did something, we wore purple". In fact they have done nothing. No change was effected. Bullies are still out there today doing what they did yesterday and the day before. The type of person who bullies will not be put off. They won't think twice by a bunch of people who wore purple… yesterday.Sorry for the rant – this type of "internet pseudo-action" frustrates me.

  15. Rabbit ツ October 21, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

    >I think the point being missed in all the bitterness is that this was not elicited to find a cure for the bullies – or even to stop them. This was in honour of those that died and a show of support for the people BEING bullied. Fuck the bullies. This was not about them – that is a whole other issue that desperately needs addressing. The purple yesterday was a way of saying "It's okay. You (being bullied) are not alone." Like I said in the post, beyond yesterday the majority of the people probably will not even let it cross their mind again. But for one day – it was there – and if in that ONE day it made a difference to ONE person that was feeling lost and alone then it was worth it.Is it a long time solution? No. I never said it was. But it is one step if it made one difference. I really take offense at people pissing all over it because it is not enough. But to each their own opinions and assholes. Something is better than nothing. It does no good either to sit behind a monitor and bitch and moan and blog about it and at all of those that participate. If you don't like it fine – shut up and find something else to hate. There's plenty of shit out there on the web. But don't discourage what was meant to be a valiant effort. That's spreading just as much hate and discontent as the bullies are doing.

  16. Lolamouse October 21, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

    >To Nariane,You are right in that a bunch of people wearing a certain color does nothing in and of itself. However, if that action gets people talking about the issue and then some of those people decide to get more involved, then it was a good thing. I agree that bullies will choose anything to torment you about (mine was my big nose), and they need to be dealt with directly. We shouldn't wait for a designated day to show love, support, and compassion to others. No day like today.

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