Bil Browning

If this doesn't warm your heart, you might as well be dead

Filed By Bil Browning | September 14, 2007 3:01 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: bullying, Dan Savage, gender roles, LGBT civil rights, pink

Do you need to feel all warm and fuzzy inside? For all the griping and moaning most people do about "the youth of today," occasionally you find a story like this.

On the first day of school, a new student was bullied and mocked for wearing a pink shirt. Ten bullies called him gay and threatened to beat him up.

The next day, Grade 12 students David Shepherd and Travis Price decided something had to be done about bullying.

"It’s my last year. I’ve stood around too long and I wanted to do something," said David.

They used the Internet to encourage people to wear pink and bought 75 pink tank tops for male students to wear. They handed out the shirts in the lobby before class last Friday — even the bullied student had one.

"I made sure there was a shirt for him," David said.
When the bullied student put on his pink shirt Friday and saw all the other pink in the lobby, "he was all smiles. It was like a big weight had been lifted off is shoulder," David said. No one at the school would reveal the student’s name.

Dan Savage has an excellent post calling for his readers to donate to buy the kids something nice.

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Awwwww! That's sweet! Except for the ten bullies threatening one kids because he wore a pink t-shirt part.

This is part of a new radicalization among GLBT youth and their allies that will change their lives, and ours. It’s typical of the new global radicalization of GLBT youth which is widespread, connected by the internet and audacious.It’s not limited to metropolitan centers or to ‘advanced’ nations - it's reach is truly global. It’s connectivity via the internet and news media gives it an unprecedented scope and responsiveness.

Around the globe young gay and lesbian activists and their allies initiate struggles and support each others struggles. That explains why groups of Mexican and Taiwanese GLBT youth will soon demonstrate outside Nicaraguan embassies in their respective capitals against draconian Nicaraguan antigay laws: why young EU, north American and Japanese activists launched a massive campaign to save Pegah Emambakhsh, and won; how Italian GLBT youth and others organized mass kiss-ins defying the police arrests at the Coliseum; why there so many GLSEN/GSA high school chapters in towns big and small in the US; how young Iranian gays and lesbians organize in the face of a religious/government campaign of legal lynchings; why the GLBT movement is winning unprecedented victories in many Latin American nations; Etc...Etc...Etc.

It‘s similar to the vast changes that took place during the youth radicalization of the 1960's and 70's. Young GI's 'in country' and in the US joined millions of stubborn young Vietnamese resistance fighters in a victorious drive to defeat the Democrat/Republican Party’s LBJ and Nixon and their unlawful war.

That earlier radicalization and the pioneering work of the Mattachines, Kameny and Giettings et al helped pull our movement out of the shadows and to become a mass movement. It also sparked a new round in the fight for women’s equality and found natural allies in the radicalization of African Americans and Latinos.

It's far too early to gauge the depth of the current radicalization of gay and lesbian youth but all the signs are favorable – it’s going to shake up politics spectacularly. Old Farts (of all ages) Beware.