Friday, October 22, 2010

It Gets Better and Spirit Day

NYAGs wanted to take this time in order to address all of the recent awareness of bullying against gay people and bullying in general. We know that we're a bit behind schedule, but we thought something is better than nothing, even if it were a few days late.

In light of the recent suicides due to bullying, many YouTube stars, Celebrities and other people from all around the world have collaborated a video project called It Gets Better. The project is videos in which gay people (and some straight) provide their own stories and inspiring messages to those who are openly and closeted gay. These stories are a glimpse of the future; that perhaps these stories will give hope and the reassurance needed that bullying in school does go away and that these young people (and any people, really) should stay true to themselves, come out when they're ready, and know that there are people out there who love and care for them no matter who they are.

Because of this project which has hundreds of videos (including faces like Michael Buckley, Chris Colfer, Ellen DeGeneres and even President Obama), Spirit Day was enacted - a day to wear purple, commonly associated as the "gay" color, to remember all of those who have suffered and made it through to pass on their message and all of those who have suffered and never made it.

The fact that this even has to be an issue is heartbreaking. We all - straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, questioning, queer, what-have-you - should come together and embrace our likenesses rather than our differences. Our condolences go out to those families who have lost loved ones because of bullying or harassment in schools and other places, and to those who are struggling in finding who they are in a world that seems so un-accepting.

Further information can be found at:
ItGetsBetterProject via YouTube
The Trevor Project via Youtube
It Gets Better Project via Internet
The Trevor Project via Internet

Bullying is unacceptable in any form. Stop the hate.

Friday, October 8, 2010


As I sit here at work, obviously not doing work and obviously not studying for that midterm I have in 40 minutes, I began talking to my roommate who is trying to figure out what she wants to be for Halloween. [As a side note, we were all planning on going as the Wizard of Oz bunch - but because I couldn't find a lion costume that looked right, we're not doing that. Sad.] She linked me to a costume called the "Candy Corn Witch," and so I clicked it only to be directed to a picture of a girl scantily dressed in knee-high striped stockings, high heals, and a dress that hardly covers anything.

This isn't news to me. In my pursuit of many costumes to adorn on my adventures to our local bar joint in my six years at University, I have run across the ridiculous "costumes" that promise you witches and ghouls only to be staring at hardly clothed women in dresses that show off all the "goods." My pursuit of a lion costume even gave me this and not to mention the last thing I'd ever consider a lion costume.

Ugh. Even now, looking them back up to post here gets me angry. Since when did Halloween (or All Hallows Eve) become "dress-like-a-skank-o-ween?" Now, I'm not wanting to go about the debate of the Madonna versus the Whore theory - I've done that enough in my classes to understand that I'm making ASSUMPTIONS about these women dressed in these costumes because of how they're dressed and not for who they are. But my concern is this - if I make the assumption that these women are sexually promiscuous and the whore, won't everyone else?

I began to debate with my roommate that if she dresses in hardly any fabric on Halloween that she will be objectifying herself. She countered with "but I get free drinks." To which, after many seconds of me shaking my head, I responded: "Yes, but then, by definition, aren't you a prostitute? Whoring yourself out for goods?" Of course, I'm not calling HER a whore or a prostitute, but the definition states "a person who willingly uses his or her talent or ability in a base and unworthy way, usually for money" are prostitutes. However, in this case, it isn't money, per se, but rather alcohol. She then went on to argue that even when she dresses in jeans and a "cute" shirt, that she manages to get free drinks. And though I am guilty of looking and dressing nicer than I do when I'm walking around on campus in our bars, I certainly do not think to myself, "Hm. I wonder what clothing I could wear that would get me free drinks." [I'd like to note that I love my roommate. She's a fantastic person. We're just debating this!]

The thing that enrages me the most are that these "sexy" costumes for women are now starting to show up in the junior and child departments. Walk into any Halloween store and you will find a kid section. Take a moment and look at the difference between the boys costumes and the girls. Boys get to be awesome things like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (I won't even go INTO how the woman equivalent is displayed), and Optimus Prime, whereas young girls get to go as "Little Red Riding Hood" adorned with high heals, and a skin-tight corset top, or perhaps my favorite, the girls Can Can costume where the girl in the photo is even posed provocatively.

My questions to everyone are these - What happened to the era of bedsheets and rubber masks? And why must we objectify women and young girls for Halloween? It's ridiculous.