Happy Friday, folks. I wanted to take a moment to draw your attention to Audrey's latest post on the Ms Blog: the post is titled "“Day of Silence” Protests Anti-LGBT Bullying." As Audrey's post explains:
On April 16, hundreds of thousands will choose silence as a way to “speak out” for a good cause. Around the country, students from middle schools, junior highs, high schools, colleges and universities will take part in the 15th Annual Day of Silence, sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). By remaining silent for all or part of the day, participating students will symbolically call attention to the silence surrounding anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools.
The rhetoric of anger & intolerance is most certainly heating up in this country, & the atmosphere it creates brings with it a sense of foreboding. Perhaps if young people can find a way toward more tolerance & acceptance, we can have some hope for a future where anger & hatred aren't the national political norm. It will be a long struggle to reach a tolerable level of live & let live. William S. Burroughs once characterized the U.S. as a country "where nobody minds their own business." This characteristic hasn't diminished in the years since Burroughs made that statement.
To my mind, the national mood of intolerance & the phenomenon of schoolhouse bullying about sexual orientation are cut from the same cloth. It should be noted also that such bullying often expands it field to include all sorts of "otherness." On the National Day of Silence website, there's a story about an 11-year-old boy who took his own life after being harrassed about his sexual orientation despite the fact that he didn't identify himself as gay. An isolated incident? I don't know from statistics, but I can tell you I suffered the same harrassment - both verbal & physical - in grade school & early high school years & I myself am straight. But I didn't fit the "mold." So this Day of Silence is about accepting our brothers & sisters who are gay, but it's also about accepting those who don't "fit."
One small thing we can do is spread the word. If you're on Twitter, please consider tweeting a link to Audrey's Ms. Blog piece and start your tweet #ff @dayofsilence. It would be great if the National Day of Silence could be #1 on Twitter's "follow Friday." Why would this be important? Anyone who watches or listens to any form of news in this country knows that politicians are mad for statistics. A show of support for the National Day of Silence on Twitter would send a message.
Thanks for your time!