Friday, April 27, 2018

Day of Silence 2018

I am not sure how many high school or middle school students stop by "Oh, By The Way," but if you are a student, please consider joining the Day of Silence today. And if you are an adult who knows a teen, especially a gay teen, who might benefit from this, please pass it along. The event is also observed on college campuses.

The Day of Silence is a student-led national event that brings attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying, violence, and harassment in schools. Students from middle school to college take a vow of silence in an effort to encourage schools and classmates to address the problem of anti-LGBT behavior by illustrating the silencing effect of bullying and harassment on LGBT students and those perceived to be LGBT.

The Day of Silence started twenty-two years ago as a way to protest bullying, harassment, and attacks on LGBT students in schools. The destructive Radical Christian Agenda has attempted to thwart or stop this student outreach, essentially claiming that it is their religious right to harass, harm, and attack human beings for being gay or trans. Because of this (and because we now have a government that promotes, enshrines, and legislates homophobia and transphobia), it is even more important to counteract such hurtful, hateful, backward beliefs. A religious freedom is a personal choice, not a ticket to ostracize, punish, intimidate, shame, or attack (mentally, psychologically, socially, verbally, OR physically) another person. In this country, anyone can observe their own personal religious rules but no one has a right to impose their religious rules on another person.

I have been so encouraged and inspired by the young Parkland shooting survivors, by throngs of young people across the country, and the idea that protest and calls to action are not dead, and that they can make a difference. Your voice can be heard. And this is how the world changes: one person at a time.

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