On Friday, December 14, 2012, we invite you to celebrate the third annual Wear Star Wars Share Star Wars Day, an affirmation of geek pride and a stance against bullying. Getting involved is easy. Here’s what you can do:
- Wear something Star Wars or science fiction-related.
- Donate a Star Wars or science fiction toy to a child in need (but please put a post-it note on the new, unwrapped toy specifying that it can go to a girl or a boy; otherwise, these traditional “boy toys” will be given only to boys). You can bring the toy to a hospital, a shelter, or drop it off with any charitable organization collecting toys.
This amazing event originated in November of 2010, when the international community of Star Wars fans rallied to defend my first-grade daughter Katie, who was being taunted by the boys at school because she was a girl who loved Star Wars. The support was instant and effusive, and Katie quickly regained her confidence as a Star-Wars-loving female. Some of the most vocal supporters came from the 501st Legion.
Aided by the speed and ease of social media, the geeks and Star Wars fans sent Katie’s story zipping around the globe. Your voices have been passionate and compassionate, and we have heard from thousands of you. I included some of your letters to Katie in my new book, Bullied: What Every Parent, Teacher, and Kid Needs to Know About Ending the Cycle of Fear. Your words collectively tell the story of a group of people who know what it is like to be taunted and teased, and you also have learned your own resilience and strength.
And then, in September of 2012, nearly two years later, we came full circle, and our family had a chance to stand up for the 501st Legion. The Star Wars fans as a group were hurt and outraged when they became the target of a taunting online slideshow featured on news websites. The slideshow featured pictures of people in costume attending Star Wars Celebration VI. The captions were cruel, and many of the people in the photos were members of the 501st Legion. Katie and I were able to offer our support and encouragement to the very people who had been so kind to us. The Star Wars community is like that — we have each other’s backs.
In the wake of the September cyberbullying incident, Katie decided that she wanted to be a Stormtrooper for Halloween this year. This was how she could show her solidarity with the 501st Legion. When the 501st Legion heard that Katie wanted to be a Stormtrooper, they pulled together to make her an authentic set of armor and the results were breathtaking.
We are proud to be part of this community, and we thank you for supporting our work against bullying! On Friday, December 14, please show your Star Wars pride!