I support tolerance, love, and kindness in all forms. And I DID intentionally wear purple today to support those ideals. However, I admittedly probably wear this shirt once a week. And purple 1/2 the other days. So I can't claim that my statement is being heard very loudly.
I can't say bullying was ever bad for me. Sure, there were moments, like when a charming young man in my 7th grade social studies class raised his hand during my presentation and asked if I had been to the race track lately. "No, why?" "Because you look like horse s*$t". Not sure why the teacher let him get away with it...but she never said a word. But, really? It was never more than that.
Why is that odd? I found out later in life that many people suspected I was a lesbian. Mostly due to my own actions. I wore a rainbow necklace every day of 8th grade (oblivious to the meaning), wore baggy, unisex clothing, didn't date in high school, and absolutely did not restrict my friends based on who they chose to date. I had, and continue to have, many friends of every orientation. Just never occurred to me that I should be a close-minded bigot. I guess I got lucky that no one ever picked on me for it? Although, I suppose I would have clarified things if they had. My school was not a beacon of tolerance, either. In fact, it was quite hostile, and most of my friends did not come out until college. (Even if it was common knowledge within our group.)
It struck me just how intimidating it was for my gay friends one New Years Eve when a friend decided to take me aside and come out to me. I was religious. I went to Notre Dame. In theory, I agreed with Catholic teachings (ha!). He was visibly nervous. It took a couple of hours of conversation, with my friend of MANY years, for him to finally summon the courage to say it to me. I was startled to think that he had assumed it would end our friendship. And he was startled that my only reaction was, "Yeah? We've known that forever." I can't say I talk to him all the time now, but that's because he's in another state, and not next door. However, I believe he is one of the warmest, funniest people I know, and wish that I had never unintentionally caused him to question my friendship.
One of my best friends for a LONG time (and I really should reconnect with) is also gay. Because of him I went to gay bars multiple times a week for YEARS. Frankly, they were more fun, and less intimidating that the meat markets otherwise known as straight bars. I suppose gay bars are meat markets in their own right, but not for a female in a gay male bar. Then it's just fun. You should try it. Though, I may have accidentally hit on girls there a few times, but there's me being too friendly again.
I'm not sure what my rambling accomplishes. Other than to say there are plenty of open-minded people out there who are allies. Who love our friends regardless of what stereotype can be placed on them. Who will always judge a person based on their heart, and not whose hand they're holding. Well, that's not true, if you're dating a jerk, I might think less of you. But the sex of the jerk is irrelevant. Love all of you! Mwah!