Why the “You-Are-Loved Chalk Message Project” and projects like it are INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT!
By Zaneta | Published: September 29, 2010
Cross-Posted at Not Your Average Feminist
This Monday, October 4th, will mark the beginning of the second annual “You-Are-Loved Chalk Message Project.” The program was started by Drew University under the leadership of New Jersey activist Jen Dugan. Each year, groups of college students and activists write encourages and uplifting messages of love on sidewalks and buildings. These messages are intended to give hope to those who are suffering from bullying, harassment, depression, or suicidal thoughts. The project is meant to shed light on the large amount of queer youth that are disproportionately affected.
The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network’s School Climate Survey in 2007 found that:
-86.2% of LGBTQ youth experience harassment in school due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
-60.8% of LGBTQ youth felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation.
-32.7% skipped a day of school in the past month because of feeling unsafe.
But in case these numbers aren’t real enough for you. Meet Asher Brown(age 13), Seth Walsh(age 13), Justin Aaberg(age 15), and Billy Lucas(age 15). All four of these young boys were driven to suicide through constant bullying for their actual or perceived sexual orientation. Alarmingly, all of these tragic events occurred within the last TWO WEEKS, and these are only the people we know about. It’s saddening and troubling and frustrating that we are losing queer youth because they feel alone and hopeless.
Participate in the “You-are-loved Chalk Message Project” on Monday and check out this beautiful video campaign initiative called “It Gets Better.” And if you are someone who is struggling with these types of issues, know that you are NEVER alone. Please call this number if you need someone to talk to: 866-4-U-Trevor(1-866-488-7386).
To quote Harvey Milk “You gotta to give em’ hope.” Have you done your part?