By the early school years, most youngsters have experienced unspoken -- but not unsubtle -- acts of social aggression that shake the carefully laid foundations of their self-image and beliefs about friendship.
My 5-year-old daughter has Leukemia. She was diagnosed when she was 4 and lost all of her hair from the chemo. She was out of school for nine months and finally was able to go to Kindergarten this past September. Knowing how mean kids can be, I was scared to death to send her.
This is the Christian response to bullying. It is one that will move us to forgive our bullies and ourselves, and wait with peace for the next chapter in our lives.
Gay-straight alliances enhance academic environments by decreasing bullying, increasing academic achievement and promoting social justice and respect for others. Students who participate in GSAs are less likely to drop out of school and more likely to enroll in college.
Most of us shared about the creation within ourselves of our own receptive self-bully. That bully is the most dangerous. Our self-bully says that we actually deserve the abuse they are doling out. But the bullies are wrong. All of them. And the bully within is the wrongest.
Six years ago, 13-year-old Steven Urry hanged himself in his bedroom closet after being tormented by bullies.
Bullying is not an issue unique to the LGBTQ community, or one that can be addressed solely by ourselves. We have much work left to do, and today we reaffirm our commitment to do it. I am proud to be one of many wearing purple today on behalf of the effort to end bullying everywhere.
My family has been bullied by anti-gay activists who want to take the protection and the promise of marriage away from my moms. Were it not for our allies, I might not have had the strength to stand up and speak out in support of my family back in January 2011.
We need an administration that takes our children's lives and educations seriously, not just as a matter of proclaimed policy, painted in broad strokes and useful as a sound bite in a debate, but as an issue that is essentially and deeply personal, as much as it is political.
This time of year can be especially challenging for many school-age youth. Ally Week is a good time to commit to making it easy for the young people in our lives to ask for help and letting them know that asking for help is good and should be celebrated as courageous.
I'm choosing to stand up as a Spirit Day Ambassador because I know what it's like to be bullied. I know the pain that LGBT youth are facing, the self-hatred and the disappointment. There is a real need for legislation against bullying, but even more so, there is a need for allies.
As our White House visit ended I thought about the time spent with our nation's leaders. Reflecting on the discussions, I realized that we had expended a great deal energy and emotion over two days.
During tonight's debate, we'll hear both candidates' plans for how they plan to lead America to a better tomorrow. For young people like me and for families like mine, a better tomorrow is one where no one has to go to school afraid of being bullied because of who they are.
"We knew who beat him up. We knew who locked him in a cupboard. We knew who had held his head under water in a sink. So why hadn't we told anyone?"
I'm a Spirit Day Ambassador for the same reason that I shared my story of growing up as a young trans girl: Only by amplifying our voices and sharing our truth, in its wide array of brilliant colors, do we learn to accept and embrace one another. I urge you to wear purple Oct. 19.
Childhood can be a profoundly lonely experience. Whether it's walking to school wishing for a friend, or sitting by oneself on the bus or dreading the endless minutes in the cafeteria, our children need fortification.