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Help Paint Our World Purple

I'll be showing my support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth by wearing purple Thursday, Oct. 20. Will you join me?

One teenager.

One girl whose heart was crushed by the deaths of gay young people who had taken their own lives, who decided that she'd had enough. 

Enough of the bullying, enough of the hate—enough of the intolerance. In 2010, Brittany McMillan stepped up on behalf of those who had died too young. With the deep hues of purple, McMillan decided to honor their short, rich lives during the first ever LGBT Spirit Day.

Observed annually on October 20, individuals, schools, organizations, corporations, media professionals and celebrities wear purple, which symbolizes spirit on the rainbow flag, according to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) website Glaad.org. Millions of Americans wear purple on Spirit Day as a sign of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth and to speak out against bullying.

I call myself lucky to have a diverse group of friends—including gay people. Some have never discussed if they've encountered bullying, discrimination or just plain intolerance; some have silently endured it all. I don't push, but if they're comfortable sharing, I'm willing to listen. Some are activists and refuse to suck it up or shut up; some just want to lead quiet, uninterrupted, respected lives—to which they're entitled. 

Today, I wear purple for each of them. Like McMillan, I wear my purple sweater in honor of those young people who could not withstand the overwhelming negativity swirling around them. The loud color will blare worldwide as a reminder that these youth should not be silenced. Even Facebook will participate. Take a minute and "Purple Up" your Facebook profile. GLAAD has created a Spirit Day site that offers social media users ways to "go purple"—including Facebook profile photos, Twitter avatars, Google+ photos and more. Users that sync their social media accounts will be able to instantly add a purple hue to their profile pictures.

There are so many ways to show your support and your openmindedness.  Put on your purple and show me! Add your photos to this column, or email me at lauren.traut@patch.com. Or post your photos to our Facebook page.

Will you join us and help paint your world purple?

Rich Worley Jr. October 20, 2011 at 01:51 PM
THE LORD CONDEMNS HOMOSEXUALALITY AS AN ABOMINATION !!! Who is standing up for THE TRUTH???
Rich Worley Jr. October 20, 2011 at 02:00 PM
Leviticus 20:13 King James Version (KJV)  13If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
Janet Virva October 20, 2011 at 02:22 PM
And Jesus said "let ye who is without sin cast the first stone."
Baba Wawa October 20, 2011 at 02:36 PM
Rich, you're nuts.
Stones October 20, 2011 at 02:41 PM
Rich, You're pretty narrow-minded, which is common for those that hide behind a bible or a religion and don't think for themselves. Read Sue Ontiveros coulumn in the link below about a movie titled "Fish out of Water". Maybe even watch the movie to see what religous scholars have to say on the subject. It's unlikely to change you view, but give it a try any way. Hatred hardly seems Christian? http://www.suntimes.com/news/ontiveros/8174971-452/what-the-bible-really-says-about-gays.html
Caryn October 20, 2011 at 02:45 PM
As a Christian, you should pray for the salvation of the homosexual the same as you would for any other person in sin. The homosexual is still made in the image of God -- even though he is in grave sin. Therefore, you should show him the same dignity as anyone else with whom you come in contact. However, this does not mean that you are to approve of his sin. Don't compromise your witness for a socially acceptable opinion that is void of godliness. Instead, stand firm in the truth that God has revealed, love him/her biblically, and pray for his salvation.
Rich Worley Jr. October 20, 2011 at 02:49 PM
Hate has nothing to do with TRUTH! Gods word does not change! It is his judgement , not mine!
Rich Worley Jr. October 20, 2011 at 02:49 PM
Hate has nothing to do with TRUTH! Gods word does not change! It is his judgement , not mine!
Rich Worley Jr. October 20, 2011 at 02:53 PM
AMEN , Caryn!!!
Janet Virva October 20, 2011 at 02:53 PM
"Vengeance is MINE, sayeth the Lord." That means it's not YOUR place to pass judgment.
Janet Virva October 20, 2011 at 02:55 PM
You miss the entire purpose of this article. Young homosexuals are confused. Would you prefer they commit suicide? Or can't we just accept them the way they are and let them be and know they are loved IN ANY INSTANCE? Once they grow old and die and meet God, it's not our business what is between them and their Lord.
Stones October 20, 2011 at 03:13 PM
So, you didn't even bother to read the column? I guess the question would be, were you brain washed as a child and left with the inability to think for yourself or even question any your Christian beliefs? Or are you a typical "born again" hypocrite who thinks their "salvation" will make up for all their past deeds?
Lauren Traut (Editor) October 20, 2011 at 03:19 PM
Rich, I am Catholic. I've read the same Bible. However, I've also allowed my life experiences to shape who I've become as a person. In my 28 years, I've been blessed to have met a wide variety of folks, and lucky enough to see how their lives can make a difference in mine. In my opinion, if intolerance robs these young people of their desire to live, the world is cheated of its chance to learn from and appreciate them. Knowing how much I've valued EVERY person's role in my life, I think that would be a terrible shame. I'll respect your opinion, if you'll try to respect mine.
Lauren Traut (Editor) October 20, 2011 at 03:28 PM
In addition, I believe it is God's place—and God's place alone—to judge. Let's leave that to God.
Rich Worley Jr. October 21, 2011 at 02:29 PM
Yes Lauren , it's gods place to judge. It's our place as Christians to follow those judgements and stand up for the truth. I do feel for the young people who have been misled. I pray for the children every day, that includes all children, who are the most special to the lord.

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