Waldlaw Blog

Friday, April 25, 2008

National Day of Silence

"I can't speak on Friday," my 12-year-old son informed me on Wednesday night. When queried about WHY he couldn't speak on Friday, he told me it was in memory of Lawrence King, the 15-year-old boy who was murdered for being openly gay at school (see previous post). I asked him how people would know that, and he said he'd have a card he could show them. Who's idea was this? It was being organized by his middle school gay-straight alliance (GSA). On the way to work yesterday morning, I read the headlines in the Bay Area Reporter over a fellow-rider's shoulder. Indeed, today is a Day of Silence, a national event to recognize the silence surrounding gay youth -- this year, being named in honor of Lawrence King. Cards are being handed out around the country that read: "Silent for Lawrence King:Please understand my reasons for not speaking today. I am participating in the Day of Silence (DOS), a national youth movement bringing attention to the silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies. My deliberate silence echoes that silence, which is caused by anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment. This year’s DOS is held in memory of Lawrence King, a 15 year-old student who was killed in school because of his sexual orientation and gender expression. I believe that ending the silence is the first step toward building awareness and making a commitment to address these injustices. Think about the voices you are not hearing today." It is one of the amazing things about raising children in San Francisco that I learn about things like the Day of Silence from my kids. Kudos to his middle school for teaching awareness about this issue, and for taking action. Sometimes our voices can be a strong weapon in the struggle for justice; sometimes, our silence is a stronger tool. If you come across a silent young person today, thank them for all of us.


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