Day of Silence

The National Day of Silence is a day of action in which students across the country vow to take a form of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools.  You can read more about it here.  This year it is Friday the 20th (one week from today).

As an instructor, I don't believe that it will be easy for me to participate fully in the day of silence.  But, I will participate in my own way.  One of my classes will be having a test, so I can be silent during that class.  In my other classes, I can simply be economical with the words I use, and relying more on the written word to communicate.  But, I think that, for me, the most drastic way I can be silent is by being silent in cyberspace.  All day long, I won't be posting anything on Facebook or here or any of the forums I participate in.  For the day, I will essentially disappear from the Internet.  I know most people won't even notice (and some might be relieved).  But, this is more for me than for others.

Why am I participating?  The primary reason is that my heart goes out to all of the gay people who are bullied and ridiculed because of their sexual orientation.  To all of the people who are made to feel that they need to change, or that they are inherently evil or wrong.  I want people to know that.  A secondary reason is that I know that even in college, even now in 2012, there are bullies.  There are people who think that it's okay to mock someone for their orientation, or to make jokes about being gay.  I want my students to know that I do not tolerate it and I do not think it is okay.  And I want them to know that I'm serious about it--that I'm not just paying it lip-service because I'm required to by contract (which I'm not--I'm only required to not discriminate).

And I encourage all of you to participate in whatever way you can.  Tell people about it.  Show your support for people who are bullied.  Show that you do not condone the action of bullies.  Take a stand for what is right.  Join me in showing that love can conquer hate.