As Dukes, we automatically become accustomed to wearing purple. It’s not just on game days or during CHOICES, but we wear it almost daily. We wear “Purple Out” t-shirts, purple JMU hoodies, purple shoes, purple sweaters, purple sunglasses – WE BLEED PURPLE through and through! And I can’t think of anything better!
But today, I’m wearing purple for a whole other reason. Recently, many young people have taken their lives because of anti-gay bullying. This homophobic abuse took place in their homes, at school, and in public; and this needs to end! We must send a strong message now that such a culture is unacceptable. I hope today you can not only show your JMU pride, but also wear purple as a remembrance of those that have been lost over the years and to demonstrate your support for a society where diversity is embraced and nourished, not ridiculed. Struggling LGBT youth need to know that there is a large community eager to support them!
Luckily, JMU is such a supportive community. I feel comfortable being out and proud here. I have rarely felt ridiculed or made fun of for being gay at JMU, but I know I’m one of the lucky ones. I have amazing friends and a supportive family that have been with me along the way. With amazing organizations like Madison Equality and JMU SafeZone, there is no reason any Duke should not be proud of who they are! If you are struggling with issues, or just want to chat, they are there for you! And so am I. Feel free to stop in the UPB office (Taylor 234) anytime to talk with me!
Remember, wear purple today to show your support. For more information, check out the links below.
~Mitch Ramey, Public Relations Director