Day of Silence.
Yesterday, at my school, there was an event called, “Day of Silence.” Organized by the GLOW club (Gay-Straight alliance). The day before yesterday, I was asked to participate in the Day of Silence by one of my friends. Since I am a gay rights supporter and since I’ve wanted to try being silent for a day ever since I saw the episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “Hush.” It was a win-win-win situation. Two wins for me one win for gay rights.
I stayed silent from the moment I walked in the building until the finial bell, well, nearly. I communicated with people by mouthing words, with exaggerated hand gestures and by just writing it down. Since it was so hard to communicate I developed an appreciation for words. I couldn’t just blurt out whatever was on my mind like I usually do. I had to want to say it enough that I was willing to stop what I was doing and write it down.
The idea behind the “Day of Silence.” was to mimic the silence that Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transsexuals (LGBT) are forced into by discrimination. It was really interesting the different reactions people had when I wrote why I was silent. I just simplified it as gay rights. Some people were impressed that I could remain silent the whole school day and made a joke about how they couldn’t go without talking for five minute. Others sympathized with the cause and said they would have done it too but could not imagine going the whole day without talking. A lot of people asked me if I was gay. When I shook my head no they told me they couldn’t imagine why I would support gay rights unless I was gay. I tired to explain to them with hand gestures that white people haves supported black rights and men have supported womens’ rights. They just smiled and told me they had no idea what I was trying to say.
Unfortunately I got called, “F*gg*t lover,” by some homophobes. I affixed them with a withering glare. It was about all I could do while remaining silent. I would have told the teacher but I didn’t know their names. That experience really drove home for me how similar the gay rights movement is to the black rights movement of the 60’s. If I had been participating in a sit-in for black rights at that time I would have been called a n-word lover.
Over all that day was pretty successful. The majority of people were for what I was doing and I felt really good about participating in this demonstration along with my friends. Even the homophobes helped me understand how much hate there still is. We still have a lot of work to do. If you’re in school I encourage you to do a demonstration like this. Let the people in your community know that the youth care and are ready to speak up (or in my case be silent) for equal rights for everyone.