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.
Clergy or lay person, LGBTQ or ally, now is the time. When you put on your purple shirt today, or send an anti-bullying tweet, you're doing something great. But tomorrow, when your shirt is not purple, and you're status has been updated, those kids' lives won't have changed by much.
Today, a closeted peer can look around a room and see all the people who will support his or her decision to come out. A bullied student can see the people who will not stand by without intervening. As we wear purple today, we give a visual of all the love and support we have to offer.
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.
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 a teenager who was once ashamed to be gay and afraid to speak up for himself, I know that an event like Spirit Day can make all the difference for someone. By wearing purple, LGBT supporters of all sexual orientations and gender identities can send a powerful message.
If you wait to work for a cause until you're working with people who agree with you on everything, you'll wait forever, and the injustice will continue. So why not do something simple to show compassion for our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters?
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.
This weekend SiriusXM is airing a documentary special I produced that profiles five straight allies and their individual journeys. Some of them are people you may have heard of before, like Zach Wahls. Others may be new to you, but all of them have powerful, compelling stories.
When the issue of marriage equality is raised, one of the most common objections raised is that it will violate religious liberty. What is not being shared is that much of the public's support for LGBT people actually comes from within the Roman Catholic Church.
Teenagers need to know that they are OK, that they are unique and special just the way they are. The more this message proliferates our media, our social media sites and conversations, the less our youth will feel hopeless and helpless.