Day of...what?

For the first time, I participated in the Day of Silence. I’m not sure quite why I hadn’t done it before, but this year I decided it was something I wanted to do. But...why?

I fully support gays, bis, and transsexuals and believe they should have all the same rights at heterosexuals, but what does the Day of Silence actually accomplish?

It raises awareness about gays. ..Say what? Everyone knows they exist.

It raises awareness about the discrimination they face. ...And? I’m not denying it exists, I don’t think anyone can, but what does the silence actually change?

And why silence? Why not neon pants? That gains just as much attention, if not more. When someone asked me this today, I responded, “Because of oppression, they are forced silent. It’s symbolic.” The other person responded that it’s their fault for not speaking out. Originally I disagreed with this, but the more I got thinking, the more it made sense. It’s no question that society doesn’t fully accept them, but why sit there and take it? Why allow yourself to be silenced?

Last year Judy Shepard, mother of the late Matthew Shepard visited my school and talked to the student body. She said something along the lines of, “This is the time not to be afraid. This is the time to stand out.” If there was one thing from her presentation that etched itself in my mind, it was that. Because she’s right, don’t allow yourself to be pushed back into the crowd. Stand up for what you believe, say what you mean and say what you think without any reservations.

You’re either tolerant or intolerant. You either accept homosexuals or don’t. It’s really that simple. If someone truly dislikes LGBT, I don’t think people walking around in black clothes with rainbow ribbons in silence will change their opinion.

I suppose I could be missing the point, and if I am, please do share.
Posted on April 18th, 2007 at 07:51pm


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