Friday, 15 October 2010

The Colour Purple
Shining the Light for Gay Youth

After devouring our delicious meals at 'The Kafe' yesterday, Patrick and I promptly made our way back to our Ubud bungalow. We had a team meeting scheduled with Clare, the tour operator we've been collaborating with for next week's MTB tour, and Pat still needed to assemble his bike.

We dropped into a general store en route to pick up some local incense, which we've since used to disguise the damp smell that our bungalow has acquired over a lengthy rainy period. Whilst in the store, I stumbled across the biggest gas lighter I have EVER seen in my life.

I immediately knew that I had to take a photo of it for my blog and whipped out my iPhone (am beginning to love it more and more). Out of all the colours that lay before me, I was particularly drawn to the colour purple. This is quite unusual for me, as I'm not normally a purple kind of gal (I love the colour as it appears in nature, but rarely wear it - perhaps it doesn't work with my complexion?).

Interestingly, upon returning to our room I received an email from a friend who asked me to consider writing about "Wear it Purple" - a movement created to raise awareness and support for gay youth who are at a higher risk of abuse and suicide. I've never had a blog request before, and was honoured to receive such an invitation over such an important subject.

My friend is the mother of a gorgeous teenager who is not only having to navigate his way through adolescence, but also through the expression of his sexuality. From my memory, the transformation from youth to adulthood is difficult enough as it is without having to deal with those that have an opinion about your sexual persuasion. I think that everybody has the right to be who they are without the threat of violence or injustice.

This post is dedicated to all the young people that not only face the trials of being a teen, but also the tribulations of being gay...

Though the road before you is challenging, know that there are people that love you, support you and cheering you on. Be who you are, ALL of who you are, and do not compromise yourself. Your journey into self expression is more testing than that of your neighbours. Your honesty towards yourself and your sexuality is a testament to your strength and character. You are courageous, you are brave, you are worthy. Do not underestimate how amazing you are. Do not undervalue how important you are. Do not oversee how loved you are.

As for the biggest purple lighter in the world (pictured), I thought it was an apt metaphor for the gay youths that touch our lives. You are a beautiful light - protect your flame and shine on.

Until tomorrow, wear something purple today and spread the love.

Grace xx

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1 comment:

  1. wow! amazing lighter....just imagine the size of the cigarette.

    great post, thank you sooo much.



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