The Black Ribbon Campaign: We Are Lawrence.

21 04 2008

I’m organizing my school’s Day of Silence, and as part of it, we’re giving out black ribbons in memory of Lawrence King.

Lawrence King was a 15-year-old who was murdered, two days before Valentine’s Day. He was shot, twice, in the back of the head. In a classroom. By a 14-year-old. Because he asked another boy out on a date. Because he liked to wear makeup. Because he was gay.

Lawrence, or “Larry” as he was known to his family and friends, was known to be a sweet, friendly boy. His school, in a suburban town in California, was known to be fairly “tolerant”. And yet, he was killed there, simply for being who he was.

There are so many others like him, who have been killed for being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, queer, or simply who they are.

It could happen to you. It could happen to someone you know. Whether we’re queer or straight, trans or cis (non-trans), masculine, feminine, or something in between, it could happen to us.

We’re him. And he’s us.

We are Lawrence.

So, in his memory, I encourage you to wear a black ribbon. Not just for the Day of Silence, but everyday.  Here’s how you can make one:

Step 1: Get some supplies. Buy a spool of black ribbon; about 9mm in width is best. “Satin” finish works best, however, “gros grain” (the ridged kind) will work as well. Sheer or otherwise decorative kinds won’t work very well. Make sure it’s fabric ribbon, not curling ribbon. You can find ribbon at craft stores; alternatively, you can buy it by the yard at fabric stores. Also buy some straight pins; these are usually known as “household pins” or “dressmaker’s pins”, and you can buy them at the dollar store.

Step 1

Step 2: Measure a length of ribbon that would make a decent-sized lapel ribbon. if you have any other lapel ribbons lying around the house, you can use those as a template.

Step 2

Step 3: Cut this length of ribbon, preferably with a nice sharp pair of scissors.

Step 3

Step 4: Fold the ribbon over as shown.

Step 4

Step 5: Weave a pin through the centre of the folded ribbon as demonstrated.

Step 5

Step 6: Pin it on your shirt, your jacket, your backpack, or anything else.

Step 7: Repeat. A 5 metre spool of ribbon can make between 40 and 50 ribbons. Give them to your friends, family, teachers, students, classmates, co-workers, and whoever else.

Alternatively (or in addition) to wearing the actual ribbon, you can “wear” a virtual ribbon as well, just like the one in my sidebar. Simply copy and paste this code (delete the massive space between “a” and “href”, leaving only one space between them):

<a href=””><img src= border=”0″></a>

Paste it into your website, your blog, your myspace, your e-mail signature, or your message board signature. Alternately, you can save it, and use it as an avatar for MSN messenger, or any message boards you may happen to go on. Forward the link to this post to people you know, as well.

I really hope everyone reading this does this. It’s important, and it has to be said.





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