Queer thoughts is purple all day today. Then again, aside from the colour being purple today, we are purple in Spirit all the time.
Today collectively we are wearing purple. Its about making bullying visible and remembering those that have suffered at the whims of bullies. Anyone young or old can be bullied. It is particularly hard on young people in high school.
In high school we are learning how to socialize, we are on our own away from our parents and make many more of our own decisions. Sometimes we don't fit in. If you are different then you can be the easy target of a bully. Homophobia is one of the causes. Kids do not innately become gay haters. They learn that behaviour. They hear their parents talking about fags, at church they hear the preacher telling you gays are going to hell so don't be gay. In our workplaces, sporting venues, our laws and our culture, we have demonized gay people.
You don't have to be gay to experience homophobia. Someone just has say you look gay, you must be gay, or you have gay friends, or you don't fit in, presto, you're not like us so you're gay.
Today things are better for gay kids collectively, laws are slowly eliminating legal discriminations from Marriage to adoption to the workplace. Individually that's not so much the case. Being bullied today because you are gay or are thought to be gay, hurts just as much as it did when I was bullied in school 35 years ago.
There is no excuse today. Adults in authority must be responsible and take action every single time they see bullying. Imagine if you were a boy sitting in the stands in Ohio last week and all the boys around you stood up and started chanting "Powder Blue Faggots" over and over. Would you remain seated, would you stand up? Would you join in the chant? Heady questions when you understand that your actions may result in being called a fag yourself, or worse beaten and or taunted all the time. Just because you didn't join in the ritualized chant.
Kids learn to be bullies, kids learn from you and me...
Its not easy being different, especially when you yourself may not know why you are. It shouldn't be easy to bully either.