Funny story. A few weeks ago we had a block party and The Husband got into a conversation with our neighbor across the street from us. He’s a very cool guy who lives with his husband and while we have waved and sometimes chit-chatted, we don’t have much of a relationship. We always just assumed it’s because they were awesome and childless and had much more exciting lives than we did so there was no reason for them to, you know, have us to dinner.
At the block party I learned that the reason we had a safe neighborly distance was because they thought we didn’t like them, or their lifestyle. I believe the words “holy rollers” were even thrown about. As you might imagine, if you’ve ever been to this blog for more than 3 seconds, I was STUNNED at the realization that someone thought I, of all people, would ignore my neighbors or worse, not like them, because they’re gay.
I mean, seriously? What the heck vibe was I giving off to this guy that he could be 180 degrees wrong about who I am? Yikes.
Sure, I work at a church that is historically anti-gay. However, one of the reasons I took the job was because I felt called to be part of a change that I felt was inevitably on the horizon. I love my church. I think they do a lot right, just not all of it. I write here and I speak openly about my opinions about LGBT issues everywhere I go. It’s not an official job of mine to speak up but it is a passion and somehow my neighbor missed it.
What this tells me is that you can’t rest of your laurels when it comes to advocacy. I can’t just assume people know where I stand, I need to make sure and tell them. Now, I’m not going on any preaching tours in the near future, but I will take every opportunity to declare my support.
Today is one day where that opportunity presents itself. Today is #SpiritDay, a day that GLAAD sponsors where you can wear purple and stand against bullying of our LGBT youth. Youth whom 8 out of 10 still report getting bullied for their sexuality. In a day where it may seem to us, easier or more acceptable than ever for teens to live out loud as themselves, they’re telling us it’s not. Eight out of ten.
Those numbers are unacceptable. We need to stand against those figures and with those kids.
So, today I’ll wear purple to my Catholic Church job so it’s no longer unclear to anyone where I stand on this issue.
I’ll also take advantage of every opportunity to give to this cause. Thankfully, Johnson and Johnson makes it easy so you can too. If you haven’t already, download the Donate a Photo App on your phone. Then, take a picture, upload it into the app and choose either The Trevor Project or PFLAG. For every photo taken J&J will donate a dollar to the charity you choose. Those dollars will go to PFLAG on behalf of the CARE WITH PRIDE™ program to provide anti-bullying sessions held at a schools, to protect all kids from being bullied. For the Trevor Project your dollar goes toward helping young people in crisis through the Trevor Project 24/7 Hotline. Only 15 photos needed for one potentially life-saving call.
The best part is you get to donate a photo to one cause, once a day. I know ya’ll are out there clicking away, so why not use those pics of your dog, or your dinner for good? . You can donate photos on behalf of PFLAG until October 31, 2014 or until it reaches its goal of $25,000, whichever comes first. PFLAG will receive a minimum of $15,000. You can donate photos to The Trevor Project until November 30, 2014.
It’s that simple to stand up for those 8 out of 10 kids. Get closer to justice with just one click. Now excuse me, I have to go parade my purple outfit in front of my neighbors.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.