CommunityPam's House Blend

Wednesday is the National Day of Silence

Brent Hartinger of Voices In My Head and The Big Gay Picture, sent in a reminder that this Wednesday is the National Day of Silence, a project of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and the United States Student Association.

This event is a day-long vow of silence taken by students who support making anti-LGBT bias unacceptable in schools and to recognize and protest the discrimination and harassment. Brent:

I knew of no openly gay teachers or administrators. But even then, the teenagers I worked with yearned to be open and honest about who they were. Heterosexuals often ask me why gay teenagers would want to talk about their sexuality in the first place. “Their wanting to talk about sex is just another form of rebellion, right?”

But being openly gay doesn’t mean rebellion, and it isn’t talking about sex. It just means no longer maintaining the elaborate ruse of pretending to be straight.

I always ask heterosexuals to imagine their teen years if they had had to hide the fact that they were straight. That means no talking about which pop star you thought was cute and definitely no idealized night at the prom. You might have had to date someone you’re not emotionally attracted to, even becoming sexuality active in order to keep your lie intact.

In other words, being a closeted gay or lesbian teenager means being silent. And for someone who is itching to forge a self-identity, as all teenagers are, this is a very frustrating way to live.

In 1996, some gay and straight students at the University of Virginia created the Day of Silence, going a whole school day without speaking to protest the silence of most gay students and teachers and the fact that most school curriculums ignored the contributions of gays and lesbians in history and literature.

Since then, the protest has mushroomed. This year, on Wednesday, an estimated 500,000 gay and straight students from at least 4,000 schools, some in the Tacoma area, will participate what is now called the National Day of Silence. In the history of the civil rights movement, there have been few protests this dignified and this exactly appropriate.

Sounds great, right? It’s so great that the Day of Silence ruffled the feathers of the wingers — the Alliance Defense Fund is putting on its The Day of Truth loser event, scheduled for the next day, April 27th.

The Day of Truth was established to counter the promotion of the homosexual agenda and express an opposing viewpoint from a Christian perspective.

In the past, students who have attempted to speak against the promotion of the homosexual agenda have been censored or, in some cases, punished for their beliefs.  It is important that students stand up for their First Amendment right to hear and speak the Truth about human sexuality in order to protect that freedom for future generations. The Day of Truth provides an opportunity to publicly exercise our free speech rights.

Participating students are encouraged to wear T-shirts and pass out cards (not during class time) with the following message:

I am speaking the Truth to break the silence.
Silence isn’t freedom. It’s a constraint.
Truth tolerates open discussion, because the Truth emerges when healthy discourse is allowed.
By proclaiming the Truth in love, hurts will be halted, hearts will be healed, and lives will be saved.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding