Am going to need my flame-retardant suit for this, I’m sure.
Today is “Day of Silence,” a pro-LGBT event in which participants take a vow of silence for the day. The goal is to raise awareness of the verbal harassment LGBT youths. It’s an absolutely fantastic cause, but I think some people, including the Day of Silence organizers themselves, are forgetting what “silence” means.
Day of Silence is a rebellion against the senseless name-calling by refusing to speak for the entire day. The expectation, then, is for there to be a noticeable quietness about today compared to most other days. In certain social circles, at least. Yet this is the opposite of what I’ve seen today.
Maybe I’m taking this too far, but isn’t Twitter considered a form of communication? And email? And facebook? Are LGBT kids not harassed there, as well? Can they not be called names in type instead of talk? So why then is Twitter so much noisier with people talking about Day of “Silence”?
People I follow on Twitter who normally appear once every few days are suddenly filling my Twitter feed with comments and re-tweets about the day. Most of those re-tweets are from @dayofsilence. One of them was even to advertise a Day of Silence radio special. I really hope that “radio special” is naught but dead air.
I admire and support everyone taking part in Day of Silence. The bullying and harassment will not stop unless we raise awareness to parents and teachers. These people need to teach their kids and students that bullying is wrong, and no one is any less of a person due to their sexual orientation or anything else that might set them apart as “different.”
Having said that, I still strongly believe a great number of people have misunderstood “silence.” The fact that #dayofsilence is trending on Twitter right now should be enough said. On the one hand, I’m happy it’s getting more publicity. On the other, it seems a bit counter-productive to have so many people talking about Day of SILENCE, doesn’t it?