Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Screaming Purple

Today I am wearing purple to remember those young people who took their own lives after intense anti-gay bullying, and to offer hope, support and solidarity to teens who are struggling with those issues in their lives now. You are not alone, and your voices are incredibly important and valuable. Hang in there - it will get better, I promise. You will get stronger and understand just how precious you are. And you will see all these voices around you in a different light. Not as powerful and big as they seem now.

Along the same lines, over at Chasing Ray, we're talking about what made us want to scream as teens. Here's an excerpt from the incredibly poignant contribution from Anonymous:
" mother despaired of my clothes when I went away to school. She complained when I wore knee-length sweaters, baggy jeans and long coats, all year ‘round. My mother always told me to stand up straight and didn’t understand why I didn’t make “more of an effort” in college.

Didn’t she understand that the message I’d already received was, disappear?"

And a bit from Cecil Castelucci:
"He told me I was wrong. That I didn’t know what my own thoughts were about it because I was too young. That I was just parroting what my clearly liberal parents said. So, he dismissed me. That enraged me. I mean, come on, just cause you're 15 years old it doesn’t mean that you don’t know what your own thoughts are. Or that you’ve been influenced or are parroting your parents. Ask my dad. When I was a teenager, we got into debates and disagreed about stuff all the time. He still thinks that graffiti on the subways is not art. I still totally disagree with him and I am now way older than 15. So, the thing that enraged me, made me want to scream and tear my hair out was being dismissed."

Here's a small clip from mine at the end:
"But what made me want to scream the most was the double standard. How I couldn't cut my hair, but my brothers could. How I couldn't play sports, but my brothers could. How I couldn't go out and have friends, but my brothers could. It was the same double standard I saw with my parents - my father was engaged in discussions involving family decisions, but when my mother spoke up, she was told that no one asked for her opinion. She ran our home, but in public had to defer to my father. She made every important decision, but had to pretend that my father was the one "in charge." It was infuriating, not to mention an outright lie."
Check out the rest of the post - it's wonderful to see all those voices together.

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