Four years ago, Katie was in first grade and she was bullied because she used a Star Wars water bottle at lunch. Other kids told her Star Wars was only for boys, and Katie was so impacted by their taunts that she wanted to use a pink water bottle instead just so they’d leave her alone. Katie’s mother, Carrie Goldman, wrote about the incident in her column on Chicago Now, and the internet responded with support for Katie. She learned many other girls of all ages love Star Wars, and it helped restore her self confidence.
In 2012, Katie decided she wanted to be a Stormtrooper for Halloween to support the 501st Legion. Members of the charitable group had recently been targeted in a mean photo slideshow posted after Celebration VI (a Star Wars convention). Katie’s mom reached out to the local garrison to ask for advice on how to make a Stormtrooper costume, and the 501st Legion took it upon themselves to make a custom set of armor for Katie.
That Stormtrooper armor is now being used to help another bullied girl. At Chicago Now, Carrie writes that eleven-year-old Allison loves Star Wars and Spider-Man and was mocked by her peers at school because of it – to the point of physical attacks. The school unfortunately has not taken any meaningful action against the bullies, but Katie and Carrie stepped into help.
Allison all geared up
A member of the 501st Legion reached out to Carrie to ask if Katie might be willing to pass along her Stormtrooper armor to Allison. Katie said, “Yes! Of course.” Katie and her friends wrote notes of support to Allison to go with the armor, and Allison suited up with other members of the 501st Legion the very next day.
Allison looks pretty excited to be in armor, and I hope she knows she’s not alone. Being bullied is a miserable experience but knowing that others support you and like the same things you like helps a little bit, and sometimes that little bit is what you need to get through. Hang in there, Allison. I know it’s not easy. Remember there are lots of people who think you’re awesome.