Yesterday, on October 17, you may have noticed a contingent of purple avatars amongst your Twitter and Facebook timelines. This viral movement has become an annual tradition as a show of support for LGBT youth and to unite people against bullying. The origins of October 17’s Spirit Day is described on GLADD’s website:
Spirit Day was started in 2010 by high school student Brittany McMillan as a response to the young people who had taken their own lives. Observed annually, individuals, schools, organizations, corporations, media professionals and celebrities wear purple, which symbolizes spirit on the rainbow flag.
Major League Baseball was one of the organizations who proudly participated in yesterday’s campaign, and all 30 teams announced their support on their social media pages through statuses and a purple frame around their team logos. However, the negativity in the Facebook comments was overwhelming and infuriating. Deadspin ran a story that included embedded comments from Atlanta Braves fans on the team’s official Facebook page.
(I couldn’t screencap the name of the guy who left the top comment, but his name is Justin Browning. Yes, there is some delicious public shaming in this post.)
Deadspin commentators mentioned seeing the same hatred spewed out on other pages for other teams. Of course, the infamous @BestFansStLouis Twitter got in on exposing the vitriol from St. Louis Cardinals fans.
Don’t think it’s just limited to Southern and Midwestern regions. Even my stereotypically gay and supposedly gay-friendly city of San Francisco had some unhappy and ignorant Giants fans expressing their dissent.
So to sum these all up and what I’d reply with:
- “Teh homosex is a sin! I’m against bullying but the gay kids deserve it because the Bible says teh homosecks is wrong!” (If you’re so keen on the idea that only God can judge you, then you don’t have to right to judge others. Also, that rat tail hairdo in your profile picture is a sin, from the Book of Karen 25:6-11)
- “But OMG, straight kids are bullied all the time! Why isn’t there a day for them?” (Because straight kids probably aren’t bullied for being straight. LGBT youth are likely to be bullied specifically for their sexual orientations or for not fitting in with societal gendered norms. According to the Human Rights Campaign, LGBT youths are twice as likely as their peers to be physically assaulted, kicked, or shoved at school. Yes, many people would agree that ALL bullying is wrong, and maybe those complaining that this day only belongs to a specific group would feel better if they instead saw this as a movement to stand against bullying as a whole. It’s not the LGBT kids’ fault that you’re butthurt.)
- “I was so thrilled when the team held Christian fellowship day but now you switch gears and do this??! Way to lose your Christian fans!!!!” (LOL you and your sense of entitlement and PRIVILEGE. Maybe they should just cancel your beloved Fellowship Days altogether because it singles out Atheist baseball fans! See how this could be easily turned around on another group?)
- “Stick with baseball and stop shoving your political agendas down our throats!” (Since when was bullying a political issue? Democrats, Republicans, independents, and the Whig Party may disagree on many things but if they’re good people, they all care about basic human decency. Also, your pleas for wanting MLB to promote heterosexual marriage or a pro-life stance—seriously, I saw that one on the Braves page!—IS making it political. Marriage and abortion can both be about politics but the treatment and mistreatment of human beings is not.)
- “Since you are promoting an idea I do not agree with, I am no longer a fan of your team and I will become a fan of your rival.” (Well, GOOD F’ING LUCK with that. The Dodgers are supporting Spirit Day just like the Giants are. The Red Sox are supporting Spirit Day just like the Yankees are. The Cubs are supporting Spirit Day just like the Cardinals are. You have nowhere to go, so the joke’s on you! Say bye to baseball forever!)
I hate that idiots ruined what was supposed to be something good, but with the focus set on a minority group, it was bound to happen. Unfortunately, this kind of anti-gay sentiment will never seem to die amongst sports fans, or just amongst Earthlings in general. All that genuinely tolerant people can do is continue to love the way we do and treat others kindly, even the ones that disagree with us. I say that the folks in these images and articles and those like them are their own problems.