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Spirit Day: Children are dead and all we have left are fashion statements

Posted on | October 20, 2010 | No Comments

I don’t own any Purple.

If I did I would be wearing it today in honor of Spirit Day.

I lack the clothes so instead I’m going to speak my mind on behalf of my LGBT friends. And the deep well of pain I feel when I think of what each of them has to go through on a daily basis. Of the idea that it could have been them who died rather than complete strangers.

The tragic suicides of children shouldn’t be needed to shake North American nations into some sort of realization that we need to stop teaching our children to hate.

How can we teach our children to think that anyone was born to be hated?

When it comes down to it, the death of these children can be lain at the door of the teachings of parents  to their children that some people aren’t human. That it’s okay to hate them because cavemen told you that feel a certain type of love deprives you of your essential humanity and right to dignity.

The logic is simple.

Parents are teaching children to hate and other parents don’t have their kids as a result.

There are few things more sad than a parent who loses their child. The concept is so painful and terrible that we lack a word to describe it. Kids who lose their parents are orphans.  You lose your wife and you’re a widower.  There isn’t a word for losing your kids because we don’t want to have contemplate the possibility that something so terrible could happen and as such needs to be prepared for.

In the same way suicides are buried without reference to the way they died. Because we don’t want to have to know a word that describes that sort of hopelessness.

Once you know it, you can’t forget it.

A friend of mine committed suicide in my second year of university.

I remember the terror of those days.

When all of my friends were on the edge and and had to live with the fear of a life where people were allowed to quit.

Mental Illness killed him.

Took away one of the sweetest men I have ever met. Part of another group that society tells to live in shame and hide how they feel.  No amount of mental health awareness weeks bring him back.

In the same sense no amount of wearing purple gives parents back their children. Our actions are irrevocable and no amount of guilt will change what we have done.

Many of my Days have been spent walking past a million things that remind  me of him and the short time we had together.

I try to imagine what that’s like for someone who loses the most important part of their life. Because the world convinced them that there was no hope that they could be happy.

Parents can’t get past the children they no longer have. Streets tattoed with the experiences they share with their kids, smells and scents bringing up memories of swing sets and old barbecues and smiles they can’t see anymore.

The bullies will have to live with the consequences of the actions they took when they were only children. A life time spent in guilt without any possibility of giving back what they didn’t realize they were taking. Kids are killing kids. Whether it’s with brutal beatings or with streams of words that convince them there is no hope of a life worth living.

Pain they could have been spared if they had been taught in a genuine and real way to love thy neighbour and judge not lest ye be judged. To ignore the politics of religion and division that bring men together by tearing them apart.

When you teach kids that some humans don’t deserve empathy, when you give young minds a space where they can act without regard to dignity and compassion you rob the whole community of the right to that same dignity. The friends who experience the loss of safety that comes with suicide. The parents who lose their lives along with their children.  The churches that lose God and the bullies who lose their childhood.

You can’t take away just the humanity of one of us.

You take it away from all of us.

I’d wear purple clothes if I had any.

I wish these children were still alive and I didn’t have to honour them with a fashion statement.



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    Michael Kimber is a 26-year-old journalist who suffered a nervous breakdown on November 3rd, 2009. On March 28th, 2010 when he recovered from mental illness, he began writing a blog called Colony-of-losers. About falling on your face to figure out who you are and the hilarious antics of a blond jew. What began with a few friends and his mother reading has become a cult phenomenon, averaging 10,000 views a week, receiving praise from Commonwealth Award Winner Shandi Mitchell and many others. On, November 3rd, 2010, the one year anniversary of his mental breakdown he signed with Anne McDermid and Associates, the largest literary agency in Canada. In a year he went from wearing pajamas, making his couch depression HQ to leaving his hometown for the Toronto, where he exclusively wears business suits and the armor of ancient Greeks. Don't worry, he's still choking on the feet he contently sticks in his mouth and making moments awkward just by being part of them. During these struggles he met other talented bastards and drew them into his circle. Peter Diamond became his illustrator. Patrick Campbell his video editor and part time photographer. He recently added the incredibly talented John Packman as Colony of Losers Toronto photographer. Without the support of the Colony of Losers, Michael Kimber would be nothing. Welcome to the losers and the success that comes from utter and complete failure. You aren’t alone. Follow him on If you’d like to hire him for a public speaking engagement for mental health events in Toronto, like to arrange an interview, offer millions to publish his book or for another reason contact Michael please email him. And join his facebook Colony of Losers.

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    I’m not a trained psychologist. Just a fellow traveler. If you need help seek it from the professionals. The Canadian Mental Health Association provides a help locator. You can find crisis resources provided by the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention. If you are in the states check here. It will give you services by zip code. I’d also recommend checking out I think they do great work and have been a help to me personally.

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