Thursday, 15 October 2015

Spread love, not hate

As some of you may already know, today is Spirit Day. It's a day on which we can stand together against bullying and to show support to LGBTQ+ youth. It began in 2010, following a string of high profile suicide deaths of gay teens and it was started by a Canadian teenager Brittany McMillan. Since then, GLAAD has worked to involve millions of teachers, workplaces, celebrities, media outlets and students in going purple on social media or wearing purple, a colour that symbolises spirit on the rainbow flag. For more information go to GLAAD.

But why are days like this this so important? The statistics of bullying inside and outside the school walls are horrifying. And it often goes unreported because people think it can't make a difference and that no one even cares. And they may be right to a certain degree, because out of those that reported it, over 61% said that the schools staff did absolutely nothing. Most LGBTQ+ people experience some sort of harassment in their lifetime and most of that happens in primary school and high school, when they are at their most vulnerable. Though it is for the most part verbal, it often leads to physical harassment and even assaults with serious injuries. Sometimes it even ends in death and not just at the hands of their bullies. The suicide rate among LGBTQ+ youth is alarming and studies show that they are even 4 times as likely to attempt suicide as their peers, with the number being even higher in people of colour. They are also more likely to suffer from depression and dive into addiction. 

I don't know about you, but to me that is completely unacceptable. Our lives matter and we deserve to have not just equal rights, but a safe environment in which we can grow up and prosper. Right now there are teenagers out there that don't feel completely safe being who they are, some of them even scared for their lives. And we can't protect every single one of them ourselves, but we can initiate conversation. We can also show support online, as well as in our real lives and with that maybe showing them that they are not alone and that we care. It may not seem like much, but every beam of light, every bit of love and support we give, may help someone get through another day. Do what's in your power to change the world around you for the better, even if that only means one suicide less or one bully less out there. 

hank you so much for reading and hopefully I'll be back next week! 
Until then, enjoy! 

XX, Ingrid


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