On this year’s Day of Silence, I am feeling nostalgic.
When I was in high school, I was a member of our Gay Straight Alliance. It was one of the only guaranteed safe places in an often hostile environment. After school, when the majority of our peers had gone for the day. In that classroom, we were comfortable with being open, exploring what we were unsure of and maybe didn’t even know yet, or just being in a space with people who wouldn’t sneer at your outfit.
Each year, the vast majority of us participated in the annual GLSEN Day of Silence. For that day, during class hours, we did not speak, text, pass notes, what have you. Of course, it wasn’t as though we could refuse to speak to a teacher if we were being compelled to do so, but I was fortunate enough to deal exclusively with faculty who were chill about it.
A lot of us weren’t super vocal in class a lot of the time. I certainly couldn’t say that anybody in class that wasn’t participating (we weren’t many, you were either alone or had another person or two in class with you) would have usually cared whether they ever heard me speak a word. But draw the attention of a bunch of teenagers to your silence, that you are embracing it as a mantle for a day instead of being boxed into it. See how many people suddenly want you to open your mouth.
Get frustrated. Let a word slip. “Haha, you talked!” We got to you, and you lost control. Your input is a mockery to your convictions. In the smallest ways we can, we will claim our superiority.
Watch other kids snigger when they’re called on that they’re participating, can’t answer, sir. Watch them blow it off 5 minutes later to laugh with a friend, letting the straight allies know in no uncertain terms that anyone who didn’t talk was gay. A gavel crack, your identity defined by a single moment’s trial and the prospect of useless appeals.
A girl’s boyfriend was faced with a day that forced him to acknowledge the aspect of her sexuality that he liked to ignore, deny. As though its another “half” of someone to love a man versus a woman, as though to love either one meant completely different things, and to contain the capacity for “either/or” was unnatural, impossible. He antagonized her until she fled to our faculty advisor’s classroom.
The rush when a classmate you’ve never spoken to before, that never heard of DoS before that day, had never been exposed to this raw nerve ending of existence, made it all worth it. I didn’t see many tears at Breaking the Silence meetings.
The GLBTQ+ community continues to be silenced in North Carolina, unable to speak “wife” or “husband” because chromosomal pairs still define legal recognition. Bisexuals are told that they don’t exist, their identities invalidated to their faces because of some perceived cognitive limitation of what we can feel. I cannot even begin to express how bad this state is at handling their ideas of and interactions with transgendered people.
The Day of Silence is important because what happens in response to your silence speaks volumes. Whether its acceptance, apathy, or hostility, there is a manifestation of awareness of exactly where everyone stands. For better or worse, everybody’s true colors are on the table. It makes for a hell of a conversation starter.
So, for those about to begin your day, keep your peace. You’ve already said everything you need to for this. Today, what others say to you does not define you. It defines them.
And then speak up.
This is a weed smokers lungs after he died from marijuana. Don’t smoke weed please reblog to save a life
That’s an orange
Please dont be disrespectful thats a weed smoker’s lungs after he died from weed smoking
Please don’t be disrespectful, that’s an orange.
It’s hardly surprising I annoy some people. I annoy myself. But new depths were plunged today by some shiny faced, arse-witted creep called Tim Walker who published a nasty little piece in the Telegraph today implying that I don’t write or compose my own tweets. As you will probably know, I don’t…
One does not simply piss off Stephen Fry.
#kitten #catladyproblems #stray #strayrescue
Munkles, you may appreciate this.
TT: And then Roxy spilled her drink on the poor guy.
GG: Oh man! Shucks, that sounded like she certainly liked him too.
TT: Well, I’d feel sorry for any dude that tried to date a Lalonde. Those women are scarier than a B-rated horror film.
TT: Like, imagine Saw. That shit isn’t even B-rated, but that is NOTHING in comparison to the Lalonde ladies.
TT: Shit, have you seen RoLal’s mom when she’s pissed?
GG: I’ve heard stories, hoo hoo!
TT: There was this one ti—
GG: OH MY GOSH.
GG: I can’t believe this. Dirk, I am SO sorry…
TT: This is fucking gold, holy shit. This cake is perfect.
Oh my good god yes.