You may have heard about Katie. She’s that adorable little girl who was teased at school because she likes Star Wars – and Star Wars “isn’t for girls.” When I read Katie’s story, I teared up just a little bit. I’ll admit, I got a little miffed on behalf of Princess Leia and my man Yoda. But that’s not what upset me. I think I have a pretty good idea of what Katie must have felt when her classmates told her that Star Wars isn’t for girls. My entire life people have been telling me what’s for girls and what’s for boys. The clothes I wear, the way I cut my hair, the people I love, and the movies I watch have been judged for their appropriateness for someone of my assigned gender. As a queer person, what happened to Katie has happened me too. And I can’t help but cry a little when I think of one more kid going through that.
But when I read the article “The ‘Force’ is With You, Katie!”, I started crying for a whole different reason. This article tells the story of Star Wars fans who rallied around Katie. They sent her encouraging messages and Star Wars clothes that fit girls and donated Star Wars toys to other kids in her honor. Thanks to these geeks, Katie’s awesome mom, and a school that’s taking bullying more seriously, Katie is getting the message that it’s okay to be who she is and that there are a lot of people standing with her.
Of the Star Wars fans who supported Katie, Katie’s mom writes: “What strikes me is how these individuals who were once so isolated are now part of a very tight community. They have found each other; they are plugged into each other, and they have each other’s backs. Now they have Katie’s back, too.”
That, my friends, is what we’ve got to do. This story is a wonderful example of the sort of movement we have to build – a movement against bullying and oppression that goes beyond words into action
My fellow star Wars fans, I’ve never been more proud.