Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I'm wearing a purple ribbon today. (I didn't own any purple clothing.) I'm wearing it for Tyler Clementi, Asher Brown, Seth Walsh, Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase, Billy Lucas, Cody J. Barker, for kids who didn't make the news but suffered just as much. I'm wearing it because I pass for straight and could get away with silence but I don't want to. I'm wearing it because It Gets Better, but there's no excuse for it being so bad in the first place. I'm wearing it because JESUS FUCKING CHRIST PEOPLE, IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LOVING A MAN AND LOVING A WOMAN WORTH FUCKING HOUNDING SOMEONE TO DEATH OVER SERIOUSLY WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?

I'm wearing it because I'm pissed off and a little scared. After a few small steps toward equality, it seems like "Gay people: are we just going to let them get away with that?" articles and debates are becoming more prevalent in the media than they were last election cycle.

I'm also wearing it because the degree of cost, effort, and risk rounds down to just about zero. "Hooray," queer and gender-nonconformist youth around the world will exclaim, "some doofus put on a ribbon."

But so often the flip side of slactivism isn't activism but helplessness. I'm wearing a ribbon; I'm doing something. I'm reminding myself to donate to pro-equality causes. I'm reminding myself that tolerating and participating in casual homophobia and "that's so gay" and "I've got this ribbon but I want you all to know that I'm normal" are actions with consequences. I'm reminding myself that thinking good thoughts isn't much use unless you do something.

More than anything, I'm wearing a ribbon today because thousands of other people are wearing ribbons today, and every one of us is on the same side. One person with a ribbon is a slacktivist; thousands are a protest.


  1. Unfortunately I heard about the "purple movement" too late, but I was/am with everyone participating.

  2. I am wearing a monochromatic purple outfit today. I don't think it'll do much because I go to Dirty Hippie College and, frankly, if a school that's a quarter queer can't make people feel welcome, nowhere can. I mean, fuck, our student body president is male-identified and wears nothing but skirts and dresses. We are pretty much a beacon of tolerance and hope!

    But I have to do SOMETHING. And I don't know what else to do.

    (Tonight we had a candlelight vigil for the dead. There was a poetry reading and group hugs. It was warm and nice.)

  3. So tolerance is supposed to be one-sided now? I must tolerate gay people, but your side considers "tolerance" wrong? That's hate-speech.

  4. Anonymous:

    What the hell are you talking about? I mean that very sincerely. I have no idea what you're trying to say.

    Also: I live under a rock and didn't hear about this until I got home from work yesterday. Still, hell fucking yes to this entire post.

  5. Yeah, I'm kinda lost too at what Anon said. I don't even get it.

  6. I'm pretty sure it's a variant of "your objection to my loudly condemning other people's relationships is hypocritical because you should tolerate my intolerance".

  7. Anonymous, I will totally have sympathy for you next time fundamentalist teenagers are committing suicide because gangs of queer youth are yelling "God-botherer!" at them.

    Until then, STFU.

  8. Methinks Anon 2:37 be somewhat a troll, verily.

  9. Speaking of tolerance, I'd like to note how kind Holly and all the commenters here have been when I give a Christian perspective. Some of my personal opinions have been unwelcome (and sometimes I even see why later), but my Christianity has almost always been treated with forbearance, a model of how Christians should be behaving. Thanks, all.

  10. Anonymous doesn't understand what "tolerance" means, I think.


    Nobody makes suggestions that the right thing to do would be to murder all the homophobes so that the bigot gene dies out.

    There isn't a slang term for scumbucketry that is in such common usage that some people can claim that it just means 'bad', and has nothing to do with condemnation of Those People.

    Homophobic bigots are not specifically condemned by mainstream politicians or political platforms, including people wondering if Those People are really fit to be teaching children.

    Nobody questions whether assholes should be able to get married.

    Young douchebags are not regularly made sufficiently ashamed of their vile treatment of others that they commit suicide at significantly higher rates than other young people.

    People who say things like "I have no problem with homophobia. As long as they do it behind closed doors" are comedians, not mainstream leaders of social organisations. (Specifically, Eddie Izzard.)

    There are no re-education camps to convert scumbags into revolutionary socialist pacifist community organisers who take special care of the downtrodden and socially marginalised.

    That's tolerance.

  11. The thing about the word "tolerance" is that it refers to just-barely-being-able-to-stand something. I tolerate that annoying way my mom clears her throat every five minutes. I tolerate the horrible cologne of that guy in the elevator with me because I don't want to start a confrontation re: how badly he stinks.

    I hate when people brag about how "tolerant" they are of other cultures/other sexual orientations/etc. Oh wow, you managed not to throw a rock at that lesbian! You get a cookie!

    The thing we should all be aiming for isn't tolerance, it's acceptance.

  12. I mean these words: "I'm reminding myself that tolerating and participating in casual homophobia and "that's so gay" and "I've got this ribbon but I want you all to know that I'm normal" are actions with consequences." That means that even wanting to show that you are normal is wrong and should not be tolerated.
    Your lie is in creating this falce dichotomy "either you are supporting gays or you are one of the torturers." It is a dangerous lie. I do not torture anyone, but I don't want to have anything to do with gays and their supporters who preach hate in my direction for doing nothing, I don't want to have anything in common with spiteful haters, thank you.

  13. If you don't support gays (support them WHAT? Existing?) then you are one of the torturers. You don't get to say "I don't want anything to do with this entire class of human beings" and then comPlain because YOUR feelings are hurt.

  14. No, my feelings are not hurt and I am not complaining, just showing you the bigotry of your ways for what it is.

  15. Hey man, I just don't support your point of view.

    I also would like to go on record as supporting straight marriage, straight adoptions, and straights in the military, and opposing bullying of heterosexual youth.