My personal blog as a 'grown-up' Goth and Romantic living in the Highlands of Scotland. I write about the places I go, the things I see and my thoughts on life as a Goth and the subculture. Sometimes I write about music I like and sometimes I review things. This blog often includes architectural photography, graveyards and other images from the darker side of life.

The Gothic subculture is not just about imitating each other, it is a creative movement and subculture that grew out of post-punk and is based on seeing beauty in the dark places of the world, and looks back to the various ways throughout history in which people have confronted and explored the macabre, the dark and the taboo, and as such I'm going to post about more than the just the standards of the subculture (Tim Burton, Siouxsie Sioux and Anne Rice et al.) and look at things by people who might not consider themselves anything to do with the subculture, but have eyes for the dark places. Goth should not be limited by what is considered "goth", inspiration comes from all places, the key is to look with open eyes, listen carefully and think with an open mind..

Friday, 19 October 2012

Spirit Day 2012

Today is Spirit Day. Spirit Day started off as a Canadian phenomenon, but has since gone global, in no small part due to internet users, and is a day of standing in solidarity with LGBTQ youth and in solidarity against bullies. To take part in Spirit Day, show your support by wearing purple.   

Of course, bullying is not a one-day-a-year occurrence but to some a near-daily blight on their lives. I'm not going to preach about how bullying people is wrong, or about how there is nothing wrong with being lesbian, gay, bisexual or being outside of the traditional gender binary, because these things should be pretty obvious to anyone.

What I will say is to do your best to help those who are hurting, and if you yourself are bullied, find someone to talk to, someone who will listen - I know that educational establishments often don't do enough, and that some parents are hardly sympathetic, but these aren't the only people in the world - talk to a friend, a relative, an internet friend (although I do stress being careful on the internet, and sadly note that the proliferation of internet attention seekers crying wolf does mean that more public pleas for help and rants/venting are often met with derision), somebody - don't keep it to yourself, that only makes it worse. Do try and seek justice and help via the proper channels, and do try and explain to your parents if at all possible. In the UK there are advice and listening telephone numbers, with people at the other end to help. 

Bullying doesn't mean that that the bullied person is a bad person; it means that the bullies are bad people.

Spirit Day was founded in response to teen suicides related to bullying, and that's one thing this world doesn't need any more of. 

As a teenager, other girls made assumptions about my sexuality due to my lack of adherence to gender roles, they called me a dyke, a lesbian, and plenty of things too rude to type here, they spread malicious rumours and generally used the assumption that I was a lesbian as another difference to make fun off (as if being a gangly, academically successful (to the point of having skipped a year at school), alternative girl with braces wasn't enough. What made it worse was at the time, I actually did have a huge crush on a girl at the time, and had not yet had a crush on anybody male, which  were things I was too afraid to acknowledge, because the use of "gay", "dyke", and "lesbo" as insults made it seem like those were bad things to be, that there was something wrong with me, that worst of all, the bullies were right. It took me a while to openly acknowledge that I was bisexual. 

I'm now in a long-term (hopefully permanent) relationship with a man, so in terms of societal acceptance I seem superficially to be heteronormatively acceptable, but that doesn't mean that I agree with the way that certain members of society treat LGBTQ people, or that I don't understand what it's like to be a young person questioning and learning about their own sexuality in the face of the prejudices of others. 

As such, my heart goes out to all that suffer due to the prejudices of others, and remember - you are not alone, and you are not a bad, broken, or evil person for being LGBTQ - those who bully, on the other hand... 

Links
::Spirit Day at GLAAD:: - the official website for Spirit Day.
::Samaritans::, for the despairing and suicidal - they have a letter, telephone and e-mail service.
::ChildLine:: helpline for children facing a variety of issues, including bullying. 
::Lesbian & Gay Switchboard:: UK advice for LGBT people.

4 comments:

  1. That's very nice. If I have heard about this before, I would have wore purple on oct 10th.
    anyways, nice blog :)

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    Replies
    1. I feel like I should have posted this up /in advance/ of the event, or at least made mention of it before hand.

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  2. Well said, there is nothing quite like the lightbulb moment when you realize you are who you are and people don't like it they can shove it! Anyone who can't accept you for who you are really isn't worth the effort of listening to.

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    Replies
    1. Yep, and I genuinely believe that I am what I am, and while the parts that I don't like I try and improve, I'm not going to let anyone other than me dictate those sort of things.

      Delete

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