I have no idea what I want for my birthday but world peace would be nice. Rather than force people to struggle to come up with something when I’m clueless myself, I have a whole other idea. For my birthday this year, I’m asking for donations to The Sophie Lancaster Foundation. I’d like to raise at least £100 for The Sophie Lancaster Foundation. That’d be a birthday present enough for me.
Don’t get me wrong. If you want to buy me a new car or a working time machine or something, go for it – but, really, this will be more than enough.
Stick around and I will explain just why this charity matters to me and why it should matter to you too.
The Sophie Lancaster Foundation
While walking through a Park, Sophie Lancaster and her boyfriend, Robert Maltby, were brutally attacked. As a result of her severe head injuries, Sophie entered a coma, never regaining consciousness. She later died. The attack is thought to have been provoked by the couple wearing gothic fashion and being members of the goth subculture. In other words, she was murdered for the “crime” of being different.
I’d love to say that this was some isolated incident. It is not. I can tell you that first hand. Mostly I just get silly comments about my hat which is really not so different from the comments I got about being the “biggest” (which I wasn’t) kid in my school. For me, this is just background noise. For others, not so much.
As a long-haired weirdo myself, this is a cause that hits just a little too close to home. I have never been anything less than deeply uncomfortable with intolerance at the best of times but this could so easily have been many of the people I know and love. I cannot tell you all of the ways this story gets to me. I’m a writer but I find myself lost for words.
In the wake of this tragic act of hatred, Sophie’s family established The Sophie Lancaster Foundation. The charity provides educational group-works that challenge the prejudice and intolerance towards people from alternative subcultures. They also campaign to have the UK Hate Crime legislation extended to include people from alternative subcultures, lifestyle or dress
I hope that you’ll consider contributing as a way of celebrating with me. Let’s see if we can put together a hundred quid to make the world just a bit more tolerant. You can donate via the Facebook donation page.