Mar. 25th, 2009

edgarallenfrog: various pics of harvey milk (accepted)
You may notice that I am not speaking today. I and a lot of other people have been taught to be silent about who we really are. Everyone who doesn't "fit in," whether gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, people with learning disabilities, people with abusive childhoods, people from certain religions, and any people who feel like they have to keep a secret about themselves in order to be accepted know that silence isn't always golden...sometimes it can kill. Those who are different have often been told they are evil, sick, bad, and wrong, and even when they hide in silence, they are afraid others will find out. This silence can cause people to lose hope. Today, I'm again choosing to be silent, but instead of hiding, I'm standing in the open, sharing my silence in hopes that those who see me will realize that some people feel forced into silence everyday. Maybe someday, people who feel like outcasts will be accepted and will no longer feel the need to hide. What will you do to end the silence?

I'm thinking about handing out cards that say this on the Day of Silence, instead of the ones they give us to hand out, which are kind of lame. What do you think?

EDIT:

These were the cards from last year:

"Silent for Lawrence King:
Please understand my reasons for not speaking today. I am participating in the Day of Silence (DOS), a national youth movement bringing attention to the silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies. My deliberate silence echoes that silence, which is caused by anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment. This year’s DOS is held in memory of Lawrence King, a 15 year-old student who was killed in school because of his sexual orientation and gender expression. I believe that ending the silence is the first step toward building awareness and making a commitment to address these injustices. Think about the voices you are not hearing today."


These were the cards from years past:

"Please understand my reasons for not speaking today. I am participating in the Day of Silence, a national youth movement protesting the silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies. My deliberate silence echoes that silence, which is caused by anti-LGBTQ harassment, prejudice, and discrimination. I believe that ending the silence is the first step toward fighting these injustices. Think about the voices you are not hearing today. What are you going to do to end the silence?"

Not as long. The first year one of the complaints was that the statement was too long, but my complaint is that it isn't inclusive. My statement is longer because I'm trying to show that other people feel forced into silence, as well, which creates common ground, and I'm trying to show, as briefly as I can, what it means to be "forced into silence" (you're silent because you're afraid to show who you are because other people will hate you if they find out) so that the general terms don't go over people's heads and they really see what I'm talking about. I do this every year, and the words don't sound exactly right, but I hope that anyone who would take the time to read the short blurb full of generalized language will take the time to read a slightly longer version that tries to unpack the ideas, and the people who will throw it away because it's too long would have thrown it away anyway...We're going to be standing in the Quad on campus with a table with quotes and literature, and we're going to be standing silently on milk crates (like soap boxes) trying to get attention that way, too.

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edgarallenfrog

May 2009

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