Thursday, April 10, 2008

Day of Silence

It is so easy for me to get caught up in the drama of "What if people at my church find out that I'm a lesbian?" Here's a news item to put that in perspective: On February 25, 2008, an eighth-grade student was shot and killed by a classmate in his school in California because he was gay. It was not long ago that my children were eighth graders. The idea that one of them might lose their life because of a crush on a classmate turns my stomach, but that is, evidently, what happened.

A few days ago there was a piece in our local paper about the national "Day of Silence." This is a youth-led effort to raise awareness about violence against LGBTQ youth, especially violence in schools. My daughter and her friends plan to participate. (One of my daughter's best friends is a boy who has recently come out to her. Also, she knows me.) On April 25, they will go through their classes without speaking; they will clear it with teachers in advance, and hand out cards to anyone who inquires as to why they are silent. This is a protest whose goal is safer schools and the valuing of every individual regardless of sexual expression.

Alas, this is scaring the hell out of some people. There is a national Christian organization that is attempting to stir up opposition to the day of silence, by claiming that students who participate will be "holding their classmates hostage" to their political agenda. Isn't that a fascinating reversal? Those who condone-- by their silence-- violence against LGBTQ people accusing others of a violent means of protest. Fascinating. Utterly fascinating.

Go to the website. Sign up. Tell your children about it. I'm so very proud of my daughter for standing up for her loved ones by this small but brave gesture.


Update: Pam BG has written about recent incidents of violence against members of Changing Attitude Nigeria here. Other articles, including a first hand account of the violence, can be found here.

Those who are silent about the violence are guilty of perpetuating it. It's that simple.


FranIAm said...

This is a really great thing- wow, thank you for posting it Cecilia.

Hidden in Christ said...

thank you so much for helping to put things in perspective. and thank you so much for what you posted on my last blog in response to "anonymous"... it was extremely encouraging! again, you continue to rock :) keep it up!

LittleMary said...

um. yeah. she pretty much rocks. but then again, who is her mother? oh right--you!

Searching Soul (a.k.a Darleen Pryds) said...

Many thanks for spreading the word. I'm going to post about this on my blog to raise consciousness of this here in Berkeley.

PamBG said...

Yeah, and no one would feel 'held hostage' by the knowledge that they could be killed for being gay.

I never cease to be stunned and outraged by how Christians can overlook violence, even amongst ourselves. I've recently learned of the beating and death threats to two individuals involved in LGBT rights in the Anglican church (it's on my blog).

Anonymous said...

I'm really proud of your daughter too, CP. Awesome.
It is strange how "the other side" tends so quickly to feel that the roles are being violently reversed when something like this is done. While I was in seminary we held a Gay Jeans Day and some of those who opposed it were really enraged. It was quite ugly at some points but we still were glad to have done it. In the end a thing that interrupts the idolization of a political position, I think is the most loving thing to do for all "sides." Well done. By the way, I pray for you every time I cross your blog.
Blessings and peace for you.

Hidden in Christ said...

hey C!

i'm sorry that you're being attacked by anonymous on my blog. let me know if you want me to take the post down. i accidentally approved it before asking you! i'm so sorry! the comment was as follows:


That I choose not to put my name in print speaks little. Even if I did identify myself, I could be lying about my name, and you'd never know. Would that somehow make it more credible to you? And even if I did use my real name, none of you would know who I am anyway, so what's the point? You're reading far too much into it while your knees are jerking.

And as a rebuttal to your post, let me simply refer you to the Anglican discussion paper found here:

Barbara B. said...

Thank you for posting the Day of Silence link. We all (including myself!) need to speak out more and help raise awareness.

Hidden in Christ said...

i just wanted to say thanks again for standing up to anonymous on my behalf! you are so wise and i love hearing your responses. you so put him/her in their place.

so i've finally decided to stop posting anonymous comments void of love! yay freedom!

hope you're having a great day. God be with you in your sermon tomorrow morning!

don't eat alone said...

In my earlier incarnation as a high school English teacher, I had some students who participated in this event. It was very powerful.


Hidden in Christ said...

oh C! no need to apologize! you did absolutely nothing wrong! i was completely referring to anon's postings and his/her attitude in that blog. not you! you rock and continue to make change a reality for people like me :) so thank you for that! thank you for being so genuine and walking the talk!

your posts have been nothing but love-driven and right. any anger was righteous anger, i think. probably the same kind Jesus had when he ransacked that temple.

Doorman-Priest said...

Homophobic bullying is rife in schools here too according to our newspapers. I believe it.

Cianna said...

People should read this.