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Wear Purple, Be Fierce!

 

Wear Purple, Be Fierce - Spirit Day in memory of those who have lost their lives because of homophobic bullying.  Wear purple, send a message of hope.

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A couple funnies and a reminder to wear purple on Friday.

I’m a little beat tonight, so won’t be spending a whole lot of time on this blog post.  Figure I can share a couple of funnies some friends shared with me, and then make sure to remind you all of something important going on this Friday.  My Monday photo shoot put me on ice for a couple of days – no one could ever accuse me of being a lazy photog.  I get in there, and sometimes it means I get sore.  LOL  It’s always worth it though if it means my client has a great time, feels wonderful about themselves, and gets some amazing images to keep forever.

So here are our funnies:

http://mashable.com/2012/10/16/bodyform-facebook-rant-vide/ – a feminine product company responds to a man’s FB status.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/mattbellassai/27-reasons-why-kids-are-actually-the-worst-6z51 – 27 reasons kids suck (yes tongue in cheek)

And now our reminder:

This Friday is International Wear Purple Day aka Spirit Day.  So take the pledge at http://www.glaad.org/spiritday.  Wear purple in memory of all the young people who have taken their lives or who have had their lives taken thanks to bullying.  Wear purple to show all those who are currently being bullied that you care and that you believe they matter.  Wear purple and make a statement, let the world know that you won’t stand by idly, that you will not tolerate hate.  We’ll be wearing purple, and I hope we can count on you to do the same.

 

Where is Christopher Now? (a video of Ivan Coyote)

Ivan Coyote was invited to attend Breaking the Silence this year as our keynote speaker.  Her down to earth stories and sense of humor speak directly to each person in her audience, making you forget the distance between the stage and yourself.  As if sitting down for coffee with a friend who just needed to talk.

In the clip I’ve shared below, Ivan tells a story about Christopher, a much loved family member…  about how her cousin inspired her to go into schools.  About how we all shit, it’s the great leveler, and how a poop story can get students and others to identify and invest in Christopher.  How it can get people to care.

Take a few minutes and watch Ivan tell her story.  It won’t take long, but in those few minutes, you may change for the better…  thanks to a little boy named Christopher.

I’ll be sharing more of Ivan and the Breaking the Silence conference in the next couple of days.  I have more videos, more pictures, and more stories.  All of which are so very worth sharing.  So I hope you’ll keep coming back to see more.  🙂

Pink Revolution!

pink revolution - the evolution of the international day of pink

Pink Revolution - the Evolution of the International Day of Pink

How many of you are familiar with the Day of Pink in Canada?  It may have started small, but it is changing the landscape.  Soon there’ll be a sea of pink all around us as Saskatchewan organizations have banded together to bring you an entire week to think pink!

Not so long ago, a young man wore a pink shirt to his high school in Nova Scotia.  The homophobic bullies were out in force, and it did not go unnoticed.  A couple days later a swarm of students wearing pink shirts showed up at school – in support of equality and the belief that we all deserve the right to be free of fear, free from hate and bigotry.  Word spread, and soon people across Canada declared April 11th to be the Day of Pink – which is now being celebrated internationally.

This year, the Avenue Community Center in solidarity with several other organizations and businesses to bring us Pink Revolution!  An entire week of pink, a celebration of diversity.  The cities of Saskatoon, North Battleford, Swift Current, and Yorkton have all banded together in our cause and declared the week of March 30th – April 5th to be Saskatchewan’s Pink Revolution.

I’ll be out at some of the high schools, giving talks about gender, sex, and how we fit into the whole scheme of things.  About how labels can both help and hinder us as we find how we belong.  There will also be a multitude of other individuals out giving talks as well.

There are video and art contest in the works, as well as several anti-bullying events.  I have to admit though, I’m most excited about Saskatoon’s first Pink Prom.  That’s right!  We’re having our first LGBTT2QIA prom!  And rumor has it, that yours truly will be the official photographer.

Check out all the details at:

http://pink.avenuecommunitycentre.ca/index.html

I hope to see you out and about during our week of pink here in Saskatoon (and look forward to hearing all about events occurring around Saskatchewan).  There’s still plenty of time to get involved, so check out the website for volunteer opportunities.  We owe it to our youth!

In the face of injustice, will you sit or stand?

Another evening spent at my parents place, going through boxes.  Got grades six, seven, and eight finished…  and started on my boxes from high school.  One little treasure I felt was worth sharing was this:

"the ultimate question"

If you can’t read it, it says:

The ultimate question.

You can sit in silence and just watch as things happen

and have no friends, save a few.

Or you can stand up and make people take notice

and have a few friends, and a few enemies.

To sit or to stand – that is the question.

That little tidbit from a very young yours truly, was dated June 1992…  Almost twenty years ago.

I’ve never been the type to sit quietly by.  I speak my mind.  I make sure I am heard.  And yes, my refusal to stay silent, my refusal to disappear definitely earns me a place on a few “naughty” lists.  But it’s just who I am, apparently it’s who I’ve always been.  Though, thankfully, my spelling and prose have improved greatly since then.  😉

I remember writing articles for our school paper, things that got me in trouble with some teachers and faculty.  Writing about discrimination within the school, perpetrated by staff.  I just couldn’t keep quiet.  I couldn’t sit on things that needed to be said.  No-one else seemed to have a problem watching things happen, but even back then I’d call people on their actions, make them be accountable.  I figured someone had to.  It’s something I made a habit of, and while it may have gotten me into some trouble, it’s a habit I still have.  I simply can’t abide a bully.

So…  to sit or to stand?  It’s not really a question for me, and I wish it weren’t a question for others.  Our voices are needed.  If anything is ever to change, our voices are required.

It’s almost over…

Very honestly, these last few months have passed FAR too quickly.  And along with the passage of this last month, we are almost at the end of the election campaign.  It’s been almost surreal this go ’round.  In the past I’ve always had several media requests throughout my campaigns.  I’ve had TV, print, radio, web – media of all sorts.  But this time, in my third election, not so much.  And part of me can’t help but wonder if it’s because I’ve chosen to focus my efforts on an equal rights and anti-bullying campaign.  Are these issues that the media simply doesn’t want to touch?

The one story I have been asked to contribute to, surprise surprise, is actually a photographic assignment.  And hopefully it will be live on the website for the Star Phoenix soon.   A few candidates, in key ridings, were asked to take their cameras out and photograph things within their riding that held meaning for them, and that would highlight those unique aspects of the riding.  It was a pretty easy assignment for me…  but even in there, I managed to share an anti-bullying message.  😉  I promise to share a link once it’s available.  Until then, my earlier question stands.

Is the issue of equality and bullying just too hot for the local – let’s face it, CONSERVATIVE – media to handle?  What are your thoughts?

Gerbil Bullying

All too often, bullying starts in the home.  It’s where kids learn their first behaviour patterns.  It’s where they learn those attitudes that are ingrained by the time they start school…  the attitudes that then come out in their interactions with their fellow students.

I was heartened to learn that there had been an anti-bullying assembly at my daughters school.  And further so that the pre-k class was invited to attend.  After the assembly, when back in their class, the teachers asked the kids if any of them could name one of the two types of bullying that had been talked about.  Lily-Ann was the only one who spoke up, proudly announcing “Gerbil Bullying”.  A little humour thrown into an otherwise very serious issue.  Obviously they’d discussed physical and VERBAL bullying, but her four year old ears heard gerbil.

If you ever take away anything from this blog, it’s this:  be careful what you say.

You never know who’s ears are listening, who is absorbing your hate (however well veiled).  When you speak, do so with kindness, and with the thought of improving the dysfunction present in our world.  Bullying is every persons responsibility.

A Message to the Bullies of the World

Today, on the 2nd Annual International Day of Purple (which has also become known as Spirit Day), we wore purple – just like last year.  And before we hit the road for our seven block walk to school we pulled out the camera so we could tell the homophobic bullies of the world exactly what we thought of them.  So bullies?  This shots for you:

for all the bullies out there, here's our message to you!

For all the bullies!

 

And for everyone else?  Here’s the kid, looking cute in purple:

the girlie, totally rockin' the all-decked-out-in-purple look

Rockin' the Colour Purple!

Pride Rainbow

If you are not sure what you can do to help send the message that you believe in equality, and want to help make safe spaces for gender variant and sexual minority youth, I have one thing to say to you:

PRIDE RAINBOW

Yep.  It’s that easy.  Wear a pride rainbow pin, put up a rainbow flag in your classroom, stick up a pride window decal at your place of business.  Be visible!  It may seem like a really small thing – but when people see that rainbow, they know they are in a space that is welcoming and safe.  Many won’t understand it’ significance, but those who need it will.

For all the gender-variant and sexual-minority youth…

For my campers, the Alumflies of Camp fYrefly 2011 (both Saskatoon and Edmonton), and for all the gender-variant and sexual-minority youth heading back to school.  Hold your heads high.  Be proud of the incredible, beautiful people you are.  Shine a light in dark places for all those who have none.  Know you are loved, you are treasured.  Build a community around yourself.  Find safe spaces.  Identify the supports in your school or on your campus, and if there aren’t any, then come find adults like us who will support you in the greater community.  Know that IT GETS BETTER!

Be brave!  Be strong!  Be safe!

 

For my fYreflies:

*jumping up, arms thrown wide over my head, tossing glitter far and wide*

TA DA!!!!

 

 


 

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