Actor Colin Farrell has issued a statement in support of Stand Up! an anti-bullying initiative by the Irish LGBT youth organization BeLonG To. The Stand Up! Campaign calls on everyone, gay and straight, to stand together against homophobic bullying.
Colin and his brother Eamon have long been champions for the BeLonG To cause, and indeed this issue is personal because Colin’s bother Eamon is himself gay and suffered what he’s called terrible and sometimes violent abuse when he was a child.
“If there was one great wish I have for my country – for a land that I love and a people I so revere, it would be that school bullying were a thing of our past.
“So much has befallen us in our shared history as a people. The harshest of these times have threatened to take our dignity, or scald our hearts into closing.
“Most of our great trials, from soiled land to the institutionalized abuse of trust and power, were inflicted upon us, whether by nature or the power corrupt. Now with bullying, there is a clear choice and the choice is ours.
“Each individual, as a member of his and her community, must Stand Up! In the face of this appalling brutality that plagues our schools. In effect, bullying is no less than the systematic doling out of pain upon the innocent. It is literally laughing in the face of somebody as they fall into increasingly grave danger. It’s not my place to draw parallels, but we have had enough of such hardships. The world has.
“Whether it be the attacking of Gay students, which I witnessed first hand happening to my own brother, or students who are in the minority as a result of race or religious beliefs or any other such characteristic that separates them from ‘the norm’, it is all wrong and has no place in a just and compassionate country such as I know Ireland to be. We have always been praised as being the friendliest and most welcoming race in the world. My wish is for us to prove it daily, in the school yards and playgrounds across this Great Land of Ours.”
BeLonG To’s Founding Director, Michael Barron, has praised the In Bruges actor for taking this strong stand, reportedly saying: ”Eamon and Colin Farrell are fantastic advocates for LGBT young people and their families. Our Stand Up! Campaign is about supporting everyone – LGBT young people, straight people, teachers, parents and family members to all take a stand together against homophobic bullying which can have devastating affects on young people’s lives. The Farrell brothers are the perfect example of what Stand Up! really means.”
The Stand Up! campaign includes an interactive video ad which has become some what of an international hit. You can find out more about that here.
You can find out more about the campaign here: www.standup.ie