Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tomorrow is the National DAY OF SILENCE: April 16, 2010

Lance Bass explains:

Thanks, Lance.

As for me, it's hard to know what to say about the National Day of Silence. Generally, I don't feel that silenced minorities should be silent in order to point out that they're being silenced in general. But as an opportunity for people to take note and for allies to stand up and be silent in concert with their peers who are being bullied or harassed for their perceived sexual orientation, and in the spirit of the non-violent civil disobedience of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi, I can see the value in the National Day of Silence.

As for that Silence, I think there are a lot of other things you can do when you're not talking.

You can:





And then as soon as the day is over, go TALK. Talk to the librarian. Talk to that friendly teacher. Talk to other students who were silent or who wondered why YOU were silent.

Try to create allies on this journey of ours, because the more people that ultimately stand up and speak out for equality for all of us - gay and straight, black and white, and everything in-between, the more we'll achieve that equality.

So okay, we can be silent for one day. And then, for the other 364 days of the year, let's raise our voices together.

As Bob Marley sang, "Get Up. Stand Up. Stand Up For Your Rights!" (Click here to sing along!)

His rights. Your rights. Our rights.

Join me, and Lance. Together, we'll move our world forward.


Unknown said...

I loved doing the day of silence when I was in high school. It was great because, ironically, it made the LGBT supporters in the student population more visible. There was a core group of us that started the day, probably 20 or so students dressed in specially designed T-shirts and armed with postcards explaining our silence. At the end of the day when we gathered to break the silence, there were 50-60 students who had participated for at least part of the day, and there were even more that hadn't been able to stay after school. It was a fabulous day.

kittens not kids said...

This is a tricky one - as you say, a silenced minority imposing silence on itself to protest its silencing may not be the best protest gesture. BUT - solidarity, always!

It would be so much nicer, wouldn't it, if it could be a day of silence for all the people who enjoy privilege - straight privilege, class privilege, white privilege? Or a day when all the queer kids and their allies turn the tables and "out" the straight kids as being...straight.

But silencing the privileged, just for a day - oh, how lovely that would be!

ivanova said...

I don't really understand the point of being silent. But I support pretty much any action around this issue, even if it's not my cup of tea. We have to use all the tools in the box to make LGBTQ students safe and accepted.

Lawral the Librarian said...

A core group of students at the (Catholic) college where I work each wore buttons with a picture of a person who had been silenced, either through death or some other form of violence and/or discrimination, and carried flyers to pass out about the person. The people they chose to honor in this way included folks that have made national news (including Constance McMillen) down to a local seminarian who was kicked out of his program. They also passed out more generic buttons for other people to wear if they joined in throughout the day.

I agree with a lot of your points about the iffy implications of choosing to be silent for a day, but I think our kids and our diversity advisor turned the Day of Silence into a really education experience for a lot of people on our campus. It was great!

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

what a cool spin on the day - I really like that!
Thanks for sharing,