Tomorrow there will be many people - mostly students - spending the day in silence in protest of anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools. The 12th National Day of Silence
Honors Lawrence King
, the 15-year-old California student who was shot twice in the head and killed at school in February by a 14-year-old heterosexual classmate because of King’s sexual orientation and gender expression.
I personally don't think silence is the answer - I think being vocal and being loud is. Part of my reason why I don't believe in silence over issues like bullying and harassment is because when you say nothing, you say EVERYTHING. Add to that the fact that I'm part of the Act-Up generation, where Silence = Acceptance. I will not be complacent about this sort of stuff, not now, and not ever. Especially considering my own nephew (Jake), also 15, is being constantly harassed by the little bastards in his school because he's different - he wears strange looking clothes and spiked hair, he's an atheist and has two friends who are gay and for him it is a nonissue - they're his friends and their sexuality is inconsequential. He's been harassed, assaulted, ridiculed, threatened, and the school's administration is not doing much about it - but you can bet your ass they will. He's defended himself when necessary and tried to let some of the namecalling go, but his patience is wearing thin and he's acutely aware that what is happening to him is not only unfair, it is patently wrong. When Jake was a child, one of the neighborhood kids who babysat him once or twice went to school at Columbine and was visiting his father for the summer, who happened to live across the street from us. We all know what can happen when bullying and harassment don't get properly dealt with, and I'm not about to see my nephew being victimized without trying to do something about it. I know because it happened to me when I was in school, and like Jake, I also fought back.
You know who's also not being silent? You guessed it - the Christian Right. That is because they have their own campaign/agenda scheduled for Monday, and they're calling it the Day of Truth
"This marks the fourth year of the Day of Truth, which was established to counter the promotion of the homosexual agenda and express an opposing viewpoint from a Christian perspective."
Their version is equally misguided as far as I'm concerned, and their version
of the TRUTH amounts to the notion that there are alternatives to being gay, which apparently is much worse than being a teenaged heterosexual murderer of a gay teenager. Their version of the truth is also backed up by religious hysteria, right-wing propaganda, self righteous grandstanding, and not ONE SINGLE IOTA of reasonable scientific data to back up even one of their claims. They'll be wearing t-shirts and passing out cards that read:
"I'm speaking the Truth to break the silence.
True tolerance means that people with differing -- even opposing -- viewpoints can freely exchange ideas and respectfully listen to each other.
It's time for an honest conversation about homosexuality.
There's freedom to change if you want to.
Yes, they have the nerve to think this passes for honesty. My friend Jeremy offers this
spot on analysis:
"That's right -- they are telling kids that despite the lack of scientific backing, there is "freedom to change" from homosexuality if one wants. And they don't see how maybe, just maybe, this might be seen as "disruptive" to the gay students, children of gay parents, science teachers, or any straight allies who have chosen to put reason over faith-based rhetoric? And not only disruptive to the school day, but instead disruptive to the very cores of people's beings!!!
We always say that one of the most annoying aspects of our opposition is their sheer non-desire to own their bullshit. And this is just more of the same. They are not seeking "honest conversation" and dialogue. They are trying to reshape a conversation because they don't like the way fact, progress, and tolerance are steering the narrative for the nation's young people. "
The online news magazine Same Same has a current post on both sides of the argument that you can read here
Now for my two cents. Ah, fuck it - here's my quarter's worth.
I'm a gay man. Faggot, queer, nelly, Mary, cocksucker, butt pirate, woofter, whatever you want to call me - I don't care. You don't have to like me, there are plenty of others that do. They more than make up for the lot of you who dislike me for being a homo. I'm not proud to be gay any more than I'd be proud to be a man or a caucasian, because these things, much like my sexuality, we decided for me - no matter what you may think about that. Being gay is actually the least interesting thing about me, in fact. Want to know some of the more interesting things about me? I can fix the plumbing when a pipe bursts. I can throw a football AND catch a baseball. I can fix the truck if it breaks down in most cases. I spent years of my life helping to raise children that were not my own when their heterosexual sperm donors couldn't be bothered, and made appropriate sacrifices to do so, and never ONCE complained about my choices - and am to this day a parental figure to those same children. In other words, I worked my ass off to earn what I got. I survived being beaten to a pulp by 5 rednecks who jumped me once at night when I was alone and called me most of the names in the first sentence of this paragraph - because I "looked like one"
. Consequently, I have no fear of getting my ass kicked now because that's already happened, so by all means, step to me with some bullshit and threaten to kick my ass, and by all means assume that I'm not going to fuck you up because after all, I'm just a cocksucker, right? Oh, if I had a dime for every asshole that ever underestimated me with that mistake...
When these mindless shitstains cloak themselves in God and indoctrinate children into doing their bidding, all the while accusing US of having an agenda to push, I have to take some comfort in knowing that I'm better than they are. So I won't be silent tomorrow, and I won't speak my truth only on Monday. I'm not that guy, I'm this one, and that's me EVERY day.