Today Is “Wear Star Wars, Share Star Wars Day”
Though Star Wars is the theme for this day, its not just about Star Wars. This day is about not being ashamed to show off what you are passionate about. To never let anyone tell you that you are wrong for liking what you do. And it all started last year with a 7-year-old girl.
Last year, Katie Goldman was a first grader with a delima that was making her rethink what she loves. Katie is a die hard fan of “Star Wars”, something her fellow students ridiculed her for because they thought it was weird for a girl to like “Star Wars”. After Katie revealed to her mom why she did not want to bring her favorite “Star Wars” water bottle to school anymore, her mother Carrie took to the internet and posted a blog about the experience.
The blog quickly went viral and Katie’s story reached many adult geeks, including those involved with the cartoon “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”. Catherine Taber, who voices the character of Padme Amidala, was the first to come across Carrie’s blog and reposted it herself. Ashley Eckstein, who voices the female Jedi Ahsoka Tano, sent Katie some shirts from a “Star Wars” clothing line specifically for women and young girls. Tom Kane, the voice of Yoda, escorted Katie and her family to a private “Star Wars” screening near their home. The website ThinkGeek.com also sent Katie a deluxe edition Lightsaber.
Katie ended up becoming a symbol for not only “Star Wars” fans who had been picked on, but a symbol for the ever-growing anti-bullying movement. Shortly after Katie’s story went public last year, many called for the first “Wear Star Wars, Share Star Wars Day”, encouraging people to wear their “Star Wars” shirts with pride and to make donations to local charities. Over 20,000 people signed up for this event on Facebook. Several months later, Katie was a guest at GeekGirlCon. Upon her arrival, she was met by a brigade of Storm Troopers who formed an honor guard just for Katie.
A year later, Katie’s story is still a source of comfort for people who have ever felt like an outcast for something they find pleasure in. A new student came into Katie’s class recently and was herself unsure about sharing her own geek pleasures. After seeing Katie proudly displaying a “Star Wars” water bottle, the same water bottle that was the source of her bullying last year, this new student said she felt comfortable to also show her geek pride. Since the events of last year, Katie’s school has also embraced anti-bullying techniques that they teach to the students, such as respecting other students for what makes them special. Her school also started an annual “Proud To Be Me Day”, a day where students are encouraged to show off what they like and what makes them unique.
Katie has not forgotten the way others came to her defense, and has done what she can to actively help others her age. While at a birthday party, Katie stuck up for a boy who wanted to have his nails painted just like the girls. Katie’s mom Carrie says that she is still in touch with the Star Wars fans who helped make Katie’s story national news, regularly receiving emails asking for updates of Katie’s life. Carrie has also written a book on parenting and how to deal with bullying. It incorporates Katie’s story as well as the massive support they received from Star Wars fans across the country. “Bullied: What Every Parent, Teacher, and Kid Needs to Know About Ending the Cycle of Fear” is due to be published next year by Harper Collins.
“Wear Star Wars, Share Star Wars Day” is not something just for “geeks”. In a way, we are all geeks. No matter if your passion is, “Star Wars”, Comic Books, The Dallas Cowboys, Celine Dion, etc., we all have something that we geek out about. Today is a day to be proud of that, and share it with others who probably like it too, but are afraid to admit it.
You can find more information about “Wear Star Wars, Share Star Wars Day” in Carrie’s blog, Portrait of an Adoption.