Saturday, October 10, 2015

Spirit Day - October 15

Do you know about Spirit Day?

Spirit Day began in October 2010, and is promoted by GLAAD. It is a day to wear the color purple and show support for LGBT youth who are victims of bullying. 

Two years ago at GRL in Albuquerque, I had a purple butterfly tattooed on my shoulder to commemorate the day, and that was also the time when I wrote the song "Last Letter to a Son" as a tribute to the young lives that have been lost.

It’s the story of a woman who didn’t know her son was gay until it was too late.

What you can’t see in the words is what’s happening in the video in my head. During the verses she’s going through her son’s belongings, finding clues and slowly putting together all she didn’t know of her son’s life. During the choruses, when she asks, “Why couldn’t you tell me?” the scene flashes back. In one scene she’s chatting with a friend, laughing and making fun of a gay man. Her son turns away with horror in his eyes. In another instant, she angrily turns the TV off on a debate on marriage equality. In the third scene, her son approaches and wants to talk, but Mom is raving about the openly gay couple who just moved in down the street. The woman merely did as she’d seen done by her own family, or heard in her church and workplace. She never even paused to consider what her own feelings were. And without even realizing, she created a barrier that her son longed to cross, but couldn’t.

Last Letter to a Son


(Chorus)
Why? Why couldn’t you tell me?
I love you anyway,
No matter what others say.
Why? Why’d you feel so all alone,
I keep thinking that you’ll just come home,
Don’t leave me this way.

(Verse 1)
You left your bed unmade,
Like you’d be coming back today,
Shirt lying on the floor,
That you won’t wear no more.

I found a letter you wrote,
To someone that I didn’t know,
You told him that you’d love him so,
Until the end of time.

(Chorus)
Why? Why couldn’t you tell me?
I love you anyway,
No matter what others say.
Why? Why’d you feel so all alone,
I keep thinking that you’ll just come home,
Don’t leave me this way.

(Verse 2)
When I found your phone,
Read ugly words from your so-called friends,
The truth hit home,
Your pain just reached an end.

The kid from next door,
Said you shouldn’t live no more,
Never listened to him before,
Why’d you do it now?

(Chorus)
Why? Why couldn’t you tell me?
I love you anyway,
No matter what others say.
Why? Why’d you feel so all alone,
I keep thinking that you’ll just come home,
Don’t leave me this way.

(Bridge)
I met the boy who wears your ring,
Such a sad and lonely thing,
I’d have approved of him,
And I do so now.

We had ourselves a good long cry,
Then we both kissed you goodbye,
You took your life ‘cause they called you wrong,
But, Baby, those folks lied.

(Verse 3)
And now you’re gone,
Sometimes I can’t go on,
The other one you left alone,
Says, “Live, and so will I.”

(Chorus)
Why? Why couldn’t you tell me?
I love you anyway,
No matter what others say.
Why? Why’d you feel so all alone,
I keep thinking that you’ll just come home,
Don’t leave me this way.

Why? Why couldn’t you tell me?

This last section was not a part of the original song, but added later.

When I said “fag” and “queer”,
I never thought you’d overhear,
Didn’t think I’d cause you fear,
Or you to turn away.

It breaks my heart in two,
You thought the taunts meant you,
I’d give up my life today,
To take back my words,

I, know why you didn’t tell me,
Please love me anyway,
And forgive my hateful ways
Me. I’m why you felt so all alone,
And if you’d could only come on home,
I’d be better I swear.

Why, why couldn’t you tell me?

The next time peers laugh about someone for being weird or different, or you witness someone who may need a friend, think about this: he or she may need you more than you’ll ever know. Just one smile, one kind word, one “I understand.” You never know who may be watching.


I am Eden Winters, an author of gay romantic fiction, a mother, a PFLAG member, and I smile at strangers. 

October 15 is Spirit Day, and once again I plan to wear purple to show my support. Won't you join me?

Find out more here:

2 comments:

  1. Is there anywhere online the song can be listened to?

    ReplyDelete