Today is the national Day of Silence, sponsored and supported by GLSEN and Lambda Legal. On this day, students are encouraged to enact a form of silence as a way to draw attention to the silencing effect that anti-LGBTQ bullying has on LGBTQ and allies in our schools and communities. This movement started in 1996 and has become a poignant active demonstration of the damage that harassment and bullying inflicts on the LGBTQA community. I whole-heartedly understand, believe in and support the soul of this movement, but I don’t think our LGBTQA community needs another moment – much less a day – of silence.
Here, in my little corner of this big ‘ole cyber universe, I’m jumping up and down, waving my hands wildly in the air, perched on top of a massive stage and yelling at the top of my lungs with a powerful PA system at my disposal: my community – all of the people who know and love and support me and my beautiful LGBTQ family led by two mamas and raising a sweet-hearted 8-yo son, all of the LGBTQA people who are part of our immediate world and all of those who only share the common bond of identifying their sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression on the wide and rainbow-colored spectrum, all of the people and communities who believe that the tenet of equality is meant for every individual – yes, THAT community of people, MY community is here and we are here with purpose and conviction and, guess what? We are not here in silence. No, honey! There is nothing silent about us. First of all, we enjoy talking too much because we have OH SO MUCH to talk about! You see, our lives are blessed and bountiful and beautiful and far be it from us to sit in a damn corner and not partake or share of the AMAZINGNESS that this world has in store for us. Secondly, we have been silent for far too long and I don’t believe that silence serves us or our purposes in a healthy way any longer. Marriage equality, LGBTQ rights and societal adjustment has become the emotionally ripping and gut-wrenching and hope-inspiring moral themes for our world to take on in the past twenty years. These discussions – movements – milestones – societal changes are not going to advance and continue within a shroud of silence; we are in a position of strength and progress and we need to keep on talking. Loudly. With Conviction. From our hearts and about our experiences. We need to introduce our families. We need to tell about our days. They need to know that we are their neighbors and doctors and advisors and teachers and flight attendants and police officers and coaches and Boy Scout leaders and Girl Scout cookie customers. We need our voices to be strong and constant and eloquent and always, always there.
So, my friends and enemies … if you want silence, fine – go be silent. I, for one, and those that surround and love me and mine – well, hell. To be honest, I don’t think we could be silent even if we tried. And we sure as hell don’t want to be. For all of the students and supporters participating in this Day of Silence, know that we love and support you and we are taking part in the movement to acknowledge the harm that bullying and harassment which so many of our LGBTQA community endures, but we choose to be a bit louder in our action.
LOVE IS LOVE, people! And no one gets to determine which love is valid and which isn’t. And if I or mine witness anyone bullying or harassing anyone you damn well better believe that we WON’T be silent – but we sure as hell will be fierce.