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