Day of Purple: In Memory of the Young Victims of Homophobia

spirit day purple ribbonToday, Wednesday, October 20, we are all to wear purple in honor of spirit day, to honor the memory of the gay teenagers who committed suicide and to support young gay people who are struggling.  This day of remembrance was started courageous teenager, Brittany McMillian, who posted on her blog this to start this movement:
On October 20th, 2010, we will wear purple in memory of the recent gay suicides. Many of them suffered from homophobic abuse in their schools or in their homes. We want to take a stand to say that we will not tolerate this. Purple represents Spirit on the LGBTQ flag and that’s exactly what we’d like all of you to have with you: spirit. Please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality. Please wear purple on October 20th to remember all the lives of LGBTQ youth that have been lost due to homophobia. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and schools.
I hope you are wearing purple as you read this.  I am wearing purple as I write.  Wear purple today.  Take a stand everyday.

If you are not familiar with the rainbow flag that represents the LGBT community, here's a brief history: it was originally designed with eight colors in 1978, and later two colors (hot pink and turquoise) were removed, resulting in today's six color flag. Without going into too much detail, the color purple on this flag represents spirit - the indomitable spirit of our community to go on living, loving, and standing up.

Today's remembrance is dedicated to the following 15 teenagers who committed suicide because of anti-gay bullying and hate.  From the event's Facebook page:
RIP Tyler Clementi, Asher Brown, Seth Walsh, Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase, Alec Henrikson,Sladjana Vidovic, Eric Mohat Zach Harrington, Phoebe Prince, Jack Frew, Danny Domingo, Meredith Rezak, Jennifer Eyring and Billy Lucas. You are loved and missed.
But we do not remember them in silence.  We remember them and honor their memories not simply by wearing purple today, but by taking a stand everyday.  We do so by telling young people (and the not-so-young alike) that better days are coming, by giving them hope, and by fighting for equal rights for all LGBT Americans and all LGBT people across the world.  We honor the dead and support those who face bullying today by standing up to the bullies, by taking an active role in our schools and letting the administrators hear our voice against hate.  We do so by voting - voting for candidates for office who believe in equality and making progress.  We do so by talking to our friends and family - those closest to us - and challenging their homophobia.  We do so by coming out - for those of us who have the privilege of living in parts of the country where we can.

That is all.  I will leave everyone with this amazing video, made by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, providing her strength, support, solidarity and hope to all young gay people.

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