I want you to do something for me. See that button over there? –> The One that says “Get a Color!” Click on it for me…. Did you do it or are you reading this on a feed reader? This is an interactive post, but well worth it… trust me! So clicking that button should have given you a color. Remember your Color!
Now you see this star here? Take out a sheet of paper… or if you have to use a mental picture, but paper is better. Draw a picture of a star and write your name in the center. Now in each point you are going to write something different.
1st point: Name of a Best Friend
2nd point: Name of a Trusted Family Member
3rd point: Name of a community you are part of
4th point: Your Dream Job
5th point: Your Hopes and Dreams.
It should look something like this:
Now that you have built out your star and know your color follow along with the scenario. For the purpose of this project, you are all GBLT about to come out.
As you start to feel ready to tell someone about your peculiarity, you decide to confide in your best friend. If you are a Blue, your friend responds great, they accept you and treat you exactly the same. If you are Orange or Purple, your friend takes some time to come around, but eventually things will work out, fold that point of your star back. If you are Red, your friend rejects you. They tell you that you are an abomination, that they can’t be your friend if you insist on being a pervert. Tear off that point of your star.
After the first foray of coming out you decide to tell a family member. If you are Blue, your family member embraces you as their blood relative and as a part of the family. If you are Purple your family takes their time in accepting you but eventually come around, fold the point back to signify this. If you are Red or Orange your family rejects you. They might disown you, or kick you out of the house, to them you are lost. Tear off that point of your star.
Next you decide to tell those in your community organization. If you are a Blue, they are accepting and inclusive. If you are a Purple or Orange they take time to realize that you are the same person that you were before. Fold back this point of your star. If you are a Red, tear off the point of your star because this community is harmful towards you. They see you as a threat that must be removed and so they exclude you from everything.
As things progress people at work begin to suspect. If you are a Blue of Purple you find allies around the water cooler and you do well. If you are an Orange your co-workers feel alienated until they see that your work is well done and start to socialize with you more, fold back this point of your star. If you are a Red, you arrive at work one day to see your desk has a box with all your stuff in it and you are pulled into your boss’ office and fired for “poor performance,” This black-lists you from your dream job… tear off this point of your star.
If you are a Blue you have an immense amount of support from those around you leaving you free to pursue your hopes and dreams.
If you are Purple your work has supported you where your friends, family and community have taken longer to understand and see the real you. Your dreams are within reach!
If you are an Orange, you have struggled without a friend, or community and in a hostile work environment for a while but that has changed through perseverance, unfortunately your family never came around, but because of the eventual support around you your dreams are open to you still.
If you are a Red, you represent 35% of all Queer Youth and 50% of Trans Youth who have become abandoned by all those they hold dear. You feel alone and realize that your hopes and dreams are beyond reach, that you have little will to live. One day you decide to end your life because you feel completely alone and isolated. Rip up the rest of your star.
Unfortunately too many end up with a red star. They are left all alone by those who they need the most support from. They end up taking their life because they felt alone. Each day we have the power to either be a strong point of support, or a sheared part of someones life. Whether they are struggling with GBLT issues, simple depression, conversion to a new church, trauma, social injustice or any form of prejudice, we have the power each day to offer support to those in need. Can we really, in good conscience, turn away those who are different from us? So next time a friend comes out to you, tells you they are having issues at home, or simply needs someone to talk to, be there to listen, to offer support, and to prevent the lose of life.