Katie Goldman is a first-grader living in Evanston, Ill., and she's a huge "Star Wars" fan. If you're a Crave reader, chances are. The thing is, the 7-year-old was recently being teased at school because of her ardent love of all things "Star Wars." The bullies, you see, were under the impression that "Star Wars" is for boys only.
That is, of course, ridiculous. Since I was a kid in the '80s I've known girls who were into "Star Wars." The bullies were wrong, but Katie was having a bad time of it, even telling her mom she didn't want to take her "Star Wars" water bottle to school anymore.
So Katie's mom, Carrie, who contributes to a blog for Chicago Now about her life as an adoptive parent, wrote about it.
Carrie Goldman told her daughter it was OK to be different. In the November blog post, Carrie relayed what Katie said in response:
"I don't want to be too different," Katie lamented. "I'm already different. Nobody else in my class wears glasses or a patch, and nobody else was adopted. Now I'm even more different, because of my Star Wars water bottle."
The blog post got many positive comments. But then something happened that can only happen on the Internet: her story spread like wildfire.
Soon Katie was getting thousands of blog comments in support of her being a "Star Wars" fan, some from members of the "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" TV show, including Catherine Taber. The voice of Amidala Padme on the show, Taber told Katie to be proud of who she is, that she's not alone, and that the Force is with her.
And then it got even bigger, with hundreds of Twitter users voicing their support with the #maytheforcebewithkatie hash tag. Our friends at ThinkGeek sent Katie her own lightsaber. A "Star Wars" artist drew her portrait as a Jedi warrior. And the rest of "The Clone Wars" cast sent her books, clothes, and toys, all "Star Wars"-themed.
All the attention has forced the bullies to cease their ways, and Katie's school held a "Proud to Be Me" day last week, where kids were encouraged to express their interests, whatever they are.