Day of Silence

Today is 4/21/2017 and it is currently 11:21 pm.

It’s taken the whole day to formulate my thoughts and think of a way to put everything I want to say into legitimate words.

Today is the Day of Silence.

This day represents the struggle that LGBT people face from bullying and harassment, as well as the silencing effect it has on them. So, in order to illustrate that, people in my school (and many other schools) decided to participate. I was one of those people.

What I did wasn’t in any way monumental. All I did was duct tape my mouth shut and carry cards so people who question me would see and understand. However, it was powerful. I, myself, am not purely part of the LGBT community, but I am considered an “ally” to it. I have friends who are in this community and this is one way I can show to them that yes, I am here for you. One would think otherwise, but I really did feel the emotion of going through with the action of keeping my mouth sewn shut by the vows of silence.

I am not writing this post to just explain what I did or why I did it, but to show you what happened when I did it.

My school is said to be very open to all of society, but it was almost a little hard to see that today. When I walked around the halls with green duct tape carefully stuck on my mouth, I saw people stare. I don’t want to infer anything without knowing any facts, but one could say that their face illustrated, “Oh! I didn’t know she…”  or “Is she…?” The funny thing is that I’m not… (should I complete their thought?)… gay. I’m not a lesbian, nor am I bisexual/a transgender/queer, but I AM in full support of them. On an even more serious note, here is another experience I had today: As soon as I got the tape, I put it on and started to trot down the stairs, happy with my decision to participate in this collective day of silence supporting a part of society that feels oppressed. Once I got to the ground floor, I turned and started to walk the hallway, noticing a group of boys on one of the sides. As I neared them, they all stopped talking. One of the guys turned another guy around to look right at me in the eyes. He saw my mouth. What did he do?

He laughed.

I shot him the dirtiest look I could and shoved him one of the “Day of Silence” notices (I’ll set it as the featured image) people were handing out during the day. I was so angry, and as I stormed off I thought, “Is this REALLY the type of stuff that people go through? And on a daily basis?” Just that little laugh meant so much and I felt so much with it. I’m not directly affected, but now I have an idea of what it could be like: much worse than what I experienced. I’m lucky that I’m in a school where not all of the students are going to laugh in someone’s face like that, but I don’t want to forget that people do much worse. Society, in its own way, has made it hard for LGBT people to be accepted for who they are and it has affected the mindset of the youth. My and future generations have to be the ones where people are accepting others for making their own decisions and choices, not deliberately laughing at them.

Today is the Day of Silence. Whether you took a vow of silence or not doesn’t matter. It all comes down to whether or not you can accept others for WHO THEY ARE and who they choose to be.

We are all just people.

Accept the similarities. Accept the differences.

It’s now 11:59.

Tomorrow, let’s speak up for those who need help to rise above the hate.

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