Part one of my thoughts on the day of silence are really just an exact repost of what I wrote last year. Not much has changed for gay youth. The problems, the bullying and the violence have gotten worse rather than better and sadly, we lost a few beautiful young lives in the process. Below is a repost of what I wrote on Last year’s Day of Silence. I will be writing my thoughts for this year and posting them soon.
Today marks the 11th year of the “Day of Silence“, a day that marks the silence that is forced on those who are being harassed about their real or perceived sexuality. Studies indicate that 1/3 of all students report being harassed over sexual orientation issues. The problem is very real and the silence kids experience is a form of structural violence that does its share of psychological damage.
Currently, a group called “Not our Kids” is asking parents to keep their kids home to protest the protest which is the Day of Silence. The coalition is led by none other than ex-gay, Stephen Bennett and it has been pushed hard by groups like Americans for Truth led by Peter LaBarbera. The actions of this group, pulling kids from school, only highlights the problem and brings more attention to the cause. While this coalition thinks they are making some statement by pulling kids from school, they are actually helping to support the meaning behind the Day of Silence since it is these very groups who create the climate that fuels the hate that causes the silence gay youth are forced to tolerate. The people who support the Day of Silence should send the people who don’t a thank you card since the brouhaha they have created helps bring the problem into the light.
As usual, groups like Americans for Truth, Stephen Bennett Ministries, Faith2Action and others ignore the real problems and offer no alternative solutions to the problems. They claim that homosexuality shouldn’t be discussed in the school, along with an array of issues they have deemed moral issues. I would ask, what gives these folks the power to decide what is a sexuality, science, educational or moral issue?
Homosexuality is not just a moral issue, it has a human face, especially when we are talking about youth. Anti-gay activists are so quick to call any outspoken advocate for gay rights “militant”, “Radical” or “Extreme” when we demand fair treatment or equal rights. The true facts show that these groups are far more militant in action and go to far greater lengths to spread misinformation and untruth than any other political group I have experienced. They claim up and down to be religious groups, but religion plays a small role and politics seems to rule the day.
Gandhi held the belief that each side of a conflict holds a piece of the truth and a piece of the untruth. He believed that nonviolent conflict resolution could be found if each group sat down and pulled together the truths each held and dispelled the untruths. I have personally seen more gays and lesbians willing to do this than I have ever seen from anti-gay groups. I have seen more gay activists willing to compromise for peaceful resolution on the issue than I have ever seen from groups like Americans for Truth or Faith2Action. I see these groups fight, complain and make demands to silence and dehumanize gays but rarely do we see any of them offer solutions to the problems gays and lesbians face and as it has been stated a thousand times in history, if you are not part of the solution, than you must be part of the problem.
The reason most commonly cited for being harassed frequently in schools is a student’s appearance, as four in ten (39%) teens report that students are frequently harassed for the way they look or their body size. Right behind was sexual orientation as one-third (33%) of teens report that students are frequently harassed because they are or are perceived to be lesbian, gay or bisexual.
LGBT students are three times as likely as non-LGBT students to say that they do not feel safe at school (22% vs. 7%).
90% of LGBT students (vs. 62% of non-LGBT teens) have been harassed or assaulted during the past year.
The Solution from Anti-gay groups:
Other posts on the Day of Silence:
Peter LaBarbera known for doing “research” at gay baths and street fairs like the Folsom Fair, should be packing his bags and heading to Florida to protest this “HETEROSEXUAL” sex club that holds “Naughty Teacher” Night and other fun gatherings. They have Friday Night “Kinky Ice Cream Social” and a hot tub for 5 that can “get pretty hott”.
The club, called the Hunt club, appears to be someone’s home. It is a place where “members” can go for sex and socializing and condoms are provided. Neighbors began protesting last Friday during the Naughty night. They say, “community values” are important in the neighborhood, but denied suggestions that staunch Christian beliefs were propelling the protestor’s opposition. Of course that because all the real Christians are at Folsom video taping the side action and protesting the gays.
If this were a gay thing, LaBarbera would be on a plane with his video camera ready to expose those nasty homosexuals. Since it is a residential community of heterosexuals in Florida, I doubt the same amount of exposing will go on from the anti-gays. The reason is that if anti-gay organizations gave this heterosexual behavior any attention it would show that homosexuals are more similar to straights than different.
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"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
Martin Luther King Jr.
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