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A Big Price to Pay for Being Different

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Every now and then you come across a story that really affects you; and the story that I am about to share with you is no exception. I have no connection what so ever to this girl or her family, I just merely want to help raise awareness about this particular tragedy and others similar and maybe some good can come of it. I blogged this story previously elsewhere a couple of years ago and have adapted it for present readers. It’s now approaching the fifth year anniversary of Sophie’s death and I feel that its more important than ever to spread the word about hate crime and help tackle the problem in the UK and around the world.

I consider myself to be an open-minded person. My taste in music varies and my style changes as often as the wind. Most importantly I am very accepting towards people I meet no matter their background, gender or culture. As the saying goes ‘never judge a book by its cover’, the same applies to people! I think open-mindedness which includes accepting change and difference is an appealing quality for a human being to have. I would like to think in this day and age that everyone was as open-minded as me although this isn’t the case.

Some people just can’t handle it! and I would describe these people as small-minded and weak. These are people who will go to any lengths to express their disgust toward anyone who appears different or has different views to themselves. The truth is, they don’t know what to expect, they judge the cover before reading the book and assume that they won’t like it.

Now having been part of the alternative scene in the past, I have met many interesting people who have established their own individual styles in order to break away from the “norm” as some people may put it. These people whether they be Goths, Rockers, Emo’s etc are probably the most intelligent and stimulating people I know. On the inside they are no different to anyone else, they just choose not to follow the same old trends. The world would be an incredibly boring place if everyone in it were the same.

Being the sort of person I am, I was sickened and saddened by a story that I had read a few years ago about a girl called Sophie who was brutally attacked along with her boyfriend by a group of teenagers they had met in a park in Lancashire. It is believed that the pair were targeted because of the unique and individual way in which they were dressed. While her boyfriend pulled through and survived the attack, Sophie sadly died on August 24th 2007. Words can’t express how angry this makes me and many others who have heard this tragic story. People shouldn’t have to live in fear because of how they dress… its insane!

Photo taken by Robert Maltby

Sophie’s family and friends have worked hard to raise awareness since her death and strive towards a less violent society by starting a campaign in her memory. The S.O.P.H.I.E campaign has a powerful message attached to it:

Stamp
Out
Prejudice
Hatred
Intolerance
Everywhere

and is growing in popularity through the fun organised events that they put on. To find out more information about the campaign or to donate to the SOPHIE LANCASTER FOUNDATION please check out the following sites:

 http://www.sophielancasterfoundation.com/

www.myspace.com/inmemoryofsophie

http://www.facebook.com/thesophielancasterfoundation

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Get Well Soon Amanda!

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I felt a little saddened when I saw the front page of today’s newspaper. It read “Amanda and new baby almost died”. I immediately thought back to the time I met her last year just before she left Shrek. She came out of the Stage door after a fantastic performance looking radiant in a flowing orange dress sporting her then small bump. With her daughter Lexi by her side she spoke to fans and posed for photographs. I remember thinking that there was a certain warmth about her, she came across as every bit of the doting mum as she let Lexi sign her name on people’s programmes, careful not to leave her out. She spent a fair bit of time chatting to a long line of fans while her driver was starting to look impatient to say the least. This just goes to show what a lovely person she is.

Amanda – a judge on Britain’s got Talent, gave birth to a baby girl named Hollie Rose and weighing 6lb. Amanda lost a lot of blood after the birth and had to under-go blood transfusions. She spent 3 days in intensive care. Baby Hollie also had breathing difficulties and was put on a respirator but both are now out of danger. I want to wish Amanda a speedy recovery and I hope she and baby Hollie make it home safe and sound to be together as a family really soon.