purple ribbonIt’s been great to be working online today, seeing all the people who have turned their profiles purple in recognition of the kids who are no longer with us, having been bullied to death for their sexuality.  As always, in these situations, a symbolic act like wearing purple is great, but is only a first small step.  These gestures are the kinds of things that get conversations started, that shine a light on issues for people who might otherwise not be paying attention.

The question we all need to ask ourselves, from this point forward, is what we can do, large or small, to work to keep our kids safe so that we aren’t hearing stories like those of Justin Aaberg, Seth Walsh, Tyler Clementi, Asher Brown, Zach Harrington and Billy Lucas.  We all live in different kinds of places, and this is a prime example of an issue that truly fits the mold of “Think globally, act locally.”  Look up the groups in your community that are doing something and lend a hand.  Find out what your kids’ schools are doing to combat bullying.  If you’re a teen reader, what can you do in your own school to make noise about this issue?

We all have something to contribute.  I’m on my way to a candlelight vigil for these kids in my hometown, so that’s what I’m doing tonight.  But as I said, the real question for all of us should be “What next, after that?”

Until tomorrow, adieu.