It’s pretty bad when you’re known as the dress guy. Each week the audience would sit in giddy anticipation of what kind of dress you were going to pop out with on stage, all the while both intrigued and aghast at how well a giant goatee and a flower print dress accent each other.
Sure, it wasn’t exactly Shakespeare, but the number of tears I elicited – admittedly, both out of fear and laughter – on a weekly basis was substantial enough to reinforce the behavior. But thus was the life of a high school drama geek. No stage was too small, and no audience above cheap, psychical comedy. I mean who doesn’t like a hero who ironically gets saved by the Damsel in Distress he’s there to save? (Especially when the D.I.D. is 6’3”, the size of a tight end, bald, and has a jailhouse goatee.) Those were the glory days, anything for a laugh.
Now, don’t you worry. My dress days have passed me by, and my students are all the more grateful for it. So instead of spending more time talking about my high school drama geek days – which my therapist is more than substantially compensated for hearing me drone on and on about – I’d like to open you up to an awesome opportunity. No, this isn’t the opening sales pitch for some pyramid scheme (Unless it worked, in which case let me know so I can start working on writing the definitive “how to turn high school drama geek stories into millions” book before someone else wanders onto that goldmine.).
Just as Movember in November is a great opportunity to spread awareness and help out a great cause – not just fashion-deficient men – I have recently learned about a cause in December that is deserving of your time and attention. Dressember, like Movember, is a recent movement which is picking up steam, and rightly so.
What do you do for Dressember? If you haven’t already figured it out from the title of my blog, self-deprecating story, and the title of the movement, the purpose of Dressember is to wear dresses for the whole month of December. (I believe it is predominantly a female movement. But just as some women do get behind “no shave November,” I guess you get to decide your level of participation.)
The purpose of Dressember is not just to look dazzling on a daily basis, but to raise awareness and funds to fight human trafficking. My 7th grade students were shocked to hear that slavery still existed in the world. One even asked me, “didn’t they make that illegal?” She was even more shocked when I told her that over 27 million people today still live in bondage around the world.
My sister just got back from South Africa, where she met with people on the front line of the fight against trafficking. She said human traffickers go after the young and weak because they were easier to control. They are brainwashed into believing that their circumstances are their own fault. Destitute and abandoned, they are without hope.
So how does wearing a dress in December help fight the global tragedy that is human trafficking? Just as my students were shocked, there are many who are unaware of the modern slave trade, which far exceeds even the Atlantic Slave Trade hundreds of years ago. Doing something different is a great avenue to creating discussion and spreading the word. Knowledge is power; use it.
You can also donate and help raise funds for the International Justice Mission, which has worked to free thousands of victims over the years. Let’s be honest, for guys this is probably the safest option. To donate go to the official website of Dressember at www.dressember.net. And while you’re there, read and be inspired by the incredible story about how Dressember began. No action is too small, and no people are beyond our sphere of compassion.
Never underestimate what one empowered person can accomplish.