Friday, April 25, 2008

Day of Silence -- High School Students Speak Out for Sexual and Gender Diversity

My son told me at breakfast this morning he wouldn't be talking to me today.

I couldn't have been prouder.

Today is the annual "Day of Silence", a day created by the GLSTN, to get high school students involved in understanding the struggles of GLBT people. My son's school is one of 6500 high schools in the U.S. that will be participating today. Students wear T shirts and their silence proclaims them as allies in this struggle. They receive information about the injustices faced by GLBT persons, and I hope they experience a little bit about what it is like to be denied the ability to authentically claim their own identity. The school's involvement is a strong signal that discrimination will not be tolerated.

A day without talking at a high school may sound insignficant or even silly...but I can't help but wonder if some of the changes we are seeing in attitudes about full inclusion among young people under 30 don't begin in these high school days.

And it's a great teachable moment for parents...perhaps while your child isn't talking, you can tell them how proud you are of them for stepping forward on this issue. I know I did.

1 comment:

Spiffy said...

I participated!
Our principal wouldn't let us wear t-shirts or put up posters, but we made rainbow bracelets to pass out to people who wanted to show support, and all of mine were gone by second period. Normally I'm not someone people care to talk to much, but I spent most of the day answering questions (by scribbling notes on paper!) of classmates I barely know about the event. There were negative comments, of course, but they certainly weren't the norm, and were more from people who supported us but questioned the value of protesting by not saying anything than from people who had a problem with it.

In short, it was fantastic. I feel absurdly blessed that I go to a high school where I participate in DoS and walk around holding hands with my girlfriend without fear of negative retaliation, and I'm hopeful that this will help make even further progress against discrimination and name-calling.

Thank you for posting about it! Sorry the comment was rather long!