Today was a very bittersweet day for me. I was happy to see many people around town wearing purple today, but I was also very sad for the reason behind it. Seven…yes SEVEN lives have been lost this school year alone. Seven people have taken their lives to end the torment they faced for being LGBTQ. It breaks my heart to see such pain and anguish in people. It hurts when I hear about another suicide.
When I was in grade school, I used to get picked on everyday because of my eyes, my glasses, my weight, and everything else you could think of. When the bullies couldn’t find anymore material to use on me, they simply made things up. I never tried to kill myself, but I did question my existence. At one point, I only had about 5 friends in a class of 30 because everyone picked on me. I remember my friend and I getting teased in art class, one of my favorite classes, and the teacher just looked at us as we cried with a smirk on her face.
While I have become a stronger person because of what I experienced, others have not. I’m sickened by the fact that things like this still go on, but I am happy that people are trying to change these horrific events from happening to others. My school, Academy of Art University, is leading the charge in getting people active today. Simon Ungless wrote a blog post featuring a history lesson on the use of purple in ancient times, and the designers who used the color in their recent collections. Gladys Perint Palmer wrote a moving call to action with resources for those being bullied and for those who want to help stop the abuse. If you are serious about helping those who suffer, I suggest you click on those links.