Completely US specific but excellent. Via George Takei
Just discovered this beautifully done video. The creator was inspired by the sad story of Tyler Clementi and posted the video two months ago. Never too late to share though. My inspiration and Eric Cooper’s was the amazing Seth Walsh. We both agreed he was us.
When Tyler Clementi took his life (a student whose life eerily paralleled mine in so many ways), I decided enough was enough. I’ve felt a powerful kinship with him that I can’t even explain – and it stirred my soul to act. Something had to be done – I realized I had to find a way to speak up with my own unique voice to express what I felt in my heart.
When I first heard Sugarland’s song, “Stand Up,” I was moved to tears. I heard it right in the middle of the string of teen suicides last year just after we lost Tyler. After the very first listen to their song, I saw a very clear vision in my head…it was an anti-bullying video that matched the absolutely beautiful lyrics and music of Sugarland’s evocative and powerful song.
So, I present to you my way of speaking up and I hope that I will inspire you to do the same. I want you to help me raise awareness, and open up hearts and minds that may be closed due to fear, ignorance, or shame. I want you to help me fill mournful hearts with hope and love and inspire others to do the same. I want you to help me keep the promise I made to Tyler…. These teen suicides, these “bullycides,” must stop once and for all, and it starts with US.
So, I need YOUR HELP. Help start OUR movement. Help spread OUR message of love, hope, and change. It’s already begun… people are reposting this on their Facebook pages… and then others are sharing and reposting it! Some are sharing the link through personal email or twitter!! Join US in helping to raise awareness and make a difference in any way we can! Be a part of OUR MOVEMENT to stop anti-gay bullying! WE HAVE THE POWER TO AFFECT CHANGE!!!
If you’re reluctant to share our video, I leave you with one thought: JUST ONE person might have their eyes, ears, and heart opened for the first time. JUST ONE person may begin to think a little bit differently for the very first time in their life. That ONE person may have a gay sibling, child, friend, or relative… And that ONE person, may think differently about the gay youth in their lives. Think about the change that happens in society when people begin to simply THINK differently. Thinking differently IS CHANGE. Remember that YOU have that power. YOU can make a difference in somebody’s life. YOU can keep spreading our message of love, hope, and change. WON’T YOU STAND UP WITH US AND USE YOUR VOICE?
A beautiful online video tribute from Davey Wavey.
“When it comes to the tragic suicides – like that of Jamey Rodemeyer – that our community continues to face, it’s hard to find the words. So, I made this video.”
A reminder that kids are subject to bullying and Spirit Day is almost upon us again.
In checking my usual internet sources I came across a couple of sharable videos that I shall now post here. The first is a touching message for the It Gets Better Project from Bishop Mark Hanson who is the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Like Anglican Bishop Sprong , whose manifesto I posted in an earlier entry, and unlike the rabid rhetoric of the religious right ( beat that alliteration!) , Hanson’ s message to kids is one of inclusion and love.
The other clip is a follow-up to the matter involving the hate-mongering disgrace to humanity called Clint McCance – an Arkansas school board member. This is the man expressed puzzlement about the fuss over a bunch of dead f@@gots and suggesting he would wear purple only if all gay people killed themselves. While such things might be acceptable in Uganda or some other place where ignorance conspires to turn an entire nation into a hell hole, it has no place in the civilized world. CNN’s Anderson Cooper who is the de facto patron Saint of the anti-bullying movement took McCance to task as I posted earlier. He followed up on the matter with TV psychologist Dr. Phil.
And speaking of Uganda, and I was, here is a food-for-thought from a gay Ugandan blogger. Interesting to see how the internet has allowed the various hate incidents around the world to become interwoven into a global discussion.
More postings as the day goes on.
One of my favorite online publications Box Turtle Bulletin has just published a most interesting article titled Suicide, Responsibility and the Teenaged Brain by Rob Tisinai. Given my feelings on the issue of kids being driven to suicide because of bullying and society’s ignorance I think it is a must read.
Anti-gay activists are working hard to duck responsibility for anti-gay bullying and teen suicides. These attempts occasionally veer into sheer lunacy, as when they claim gay teens are in despair because society is too accepting of homosexuality. But there’s one dodge I find particularly offensive. From the comments on NOM’s Facebook page:
The only people responsible for the suicides are the people that comitted them.
Nobody forces anyone to take his own life; ergo, only those who commit suicide are responsible.
Each person is responsible 4 their own actions. U make believe u r gay. God did not make u gay & He does not make u commit sucicide. nor does anyone else
I don’t know if gay is always a choice, or not. But suicide is ALWAYS a choice. The ultimate cop-out.
I watched this last night and could see from the expression on Anderson’s face that he was pissed. One thing I have learned for certain is that when it comes to bullying it is best not to get on the wrong side of CNN’s Anderson Cooper or he will go after you like a Tomahawk missile.
Video link via @JoeMyGod
I am not a religious person but this bishop telling his congregation he is gay in such a classy and in-depth way is pretty darned amazing. I would urge everyone to watch it.
The time has come. It is a small symbolic gesture but in some ways it is much more than that. If you are a LGBT kid in school and you see a teacher or other student wearing purple today you know you have allies. People you can talk to if someone is making you feel like less of a person.
When an LGBT kid walks down the street and sees people in purple they know they are not alone. That is important when you are a kid wrestling with the idea that you are alone in the universe and often afraid to tell your family in case they think you are a freak or think you are going to hell because of misguided religion.
When you wear purple on Spirit Day you are honoring the lives of kids who were driven to killing themselves for committing the audacious act of just living and being who they are. The fact is that LGBT kids don’t have the support systems other kids have and are much more likely to try to commit suicide out of hopelessness – out of a fear that there is no future happiness awaiting them.
When you wear purple on October 20, 2010 you are telling all bullied kids and especially LGBT kids that they have to be strong and brave despite the hatred they see – because the hopes of millions for a brighter tomorrow rests on their little and almost broken shoulders. On Spirit Day, and every day, we want these kids to know that are special, valuable and important. Wear purple.
I can find no more empowering song to dedicate to these kids than Labi Siffre’s Something Inside So Strong which was written to protest Apartheid. There isn’t even a need to change a single word of the lyrics. The song and full lyrics are below …
The higher you build your barriers The taller I become The farther you take my rights away The faster I will run You can deny me You can decide to turn your face away No matter, cos there's.... Something inside so strong I know that I can make it Tho' you're doing me wrong, so wrong You thought that my pride was gone Oh no, something inside so strong Oh oh oh oh oh something inside so strong
One of my favorite new performers, whose character Prince Poppycock is a celebration of novel and different, speaks out against hate and bullying. When we don’t embrace difference we lose the chance to celebrate lives such as his. As he says “a rainbow wouldn’t be a rainbow if it were missing a single color.”
On October 20, 2010, Spirit Day, let’s commemorate the amazing lives the world has lost because of bullying by wearing one of those colors – purple. Lives lost that could have made the world just a little more beautiful.