Students mourn for recent gay suicides by wearing purple

November 1, 2010 — by Megan Benzing and Olivia Chock

On Oct. 20, people around the world mourned for the recent suicides across the country due to gay abuse, including the students of Saratoga High.

When someone created a Facebook event asking people wear purple to bring awareness to these suicides, everyone wanted to be involved. So on Wednesday the 20th, many students wore purple, including senior Hannah Harter and sophomore Kaitlin Finch.

“The first time I saw the huge Facebook event saying to wear purple I was already signed up,” said Finch. “I wore my ‘I <3 Roma’ shirt and at the bottom I added a post it note saying ‘and all sexual orientations.’”

This event is confirmed as the day to mourn recent gay suicides when a passionate speaker blogged about the issue of gay abuse on Twitter. He specifically honored six people in the news recently who were so abused they decided to take their own lives: Tyler Clementi, Asher Brown, Seth Walsh, Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase and Billy Lucas.

Finch could hardly believe this had happened. “I have a few friends that are homosexual and hearing about the suicides horrified me,” said Finch. “I don’t know what I would do if I ever found out that bullying caused them to take their lives.”

Harter strongly agrees that the disdain many display toward homosexuality is unacceptable. “I don’t necessarily think everyone has to be OK with gay people, but they should at least be open to them,” said Harter. “It’s already enough of a baggage for people to have to come out to the world and confess that they are gay.”

Considering the possible ways to take action, Finch said, “I do think that teenagers need to understand that ‘silly’ jokes can actually affect some one’s life. I’m not sure what we can do quite yet, but wearing the purple shirts was a huge step.”

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