The recent media spotlight has singled out bullying in America’s schools as a definite cause of gay teen suicides. Wear Purple Day Oct. 20 tries to get the message across against bullying, but also domestic violence. Can a color fight cruelty? Will it?
Wear Purple Day, Combat Bullying of Gay Teens
To honor Tyler Clementi and other LGBT youngsters “who have committed suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse in their homes and schools,” a Facebook event page has sprung up and declared Oct. 20 to be Wear Purple Day. Some 58,601 Facebook members (thus far) pledge to wear purple, while 42,637 decline to participate and 14,231 self-identify as undecided.
Wear Purple Day, Raise Awareness of Domestic Violence
Catholic Charities too urge the public to wear purple. As outlined by the Evening Sun, New York has chosen a Wear Purple Oct. 20 date to highlight the plight of domestic violence. In fact, the idea to wear purple goes a step further and actually signals support for healthy relationships that are free from violence and the behaviors that lead up to physical acting out.
Domestic Violence and Bullying by the Numbers
USA Today quotes Laura McGinnis from the Trevor Project as stating that LGBT youngsters are at a four times higher risk of trying to take their own lives than heterosexual teens. According to the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network, verbal or even physical acting out against LGBT teens affects as many as nine out of 10 young people.
WIVT News Channel 34 outlines that domestic violence affects as many as one in four women at some time in their lives. This type of abuse begins as early as the teen years, when girls in dating relationships are subjected to (threats of) physical violence and/or verbal abuse. With the widespread popularity of texting and social networking, this type of abuse – just like bullying – is taking on new forms.
Will Wear Purple Day Make Cruelty everyone’s Business?
Just like domestic violence is generally treated as a “woman’s issue,” the bullying of gay teens is commonly treated as a LGBT problem. With a Wear Purple Day, domestic violence and bullying become everyone’s business.
Yet what happens on Oct. 21? With Wear Purple Day in the past, will the issue of cruel and unacceptable acting out once again be shelved and left to the victims to deal with?
Facebook: “October 20th: Spirit Day – Wear Purple!”
Evening Sun: “Go purple on Wednesday to shine light on domestic violence”
USA Today: “Youths, adults sign on to wear purple, support gay teens”
WIVT News Channel 34: “October is Domestic Awareness Month”