I utterly failed to stay silent on the day of Silence. Go figure, Drake can’t keep his mouth shut.
No, really, it was hard. I had to keep reminding myself. Biting my tongue (not hard. That would be awful), bopping myself on the head with things to stay alert. Gotta be awake to be quiet. Gotta be alert to be silent.
I gave up on the fifth failure at about lunch time. To those that made it, you are men and women of iron will and blazing resolve. I salute you. As for me, well…
This is hard.
I think that’s the symbolic point. Most of us can’t stay quiet because it is genuinely difficult. Communication and advanced self-expression are kind of what separates us from most animals, we get used to using their benefits day in and day out. You know, it even allows our little communities to function. We can perform rather advanced things, if you think about it– more than just mating calls and displays of our vocal chords intended to intimidate a predator and/or political opponent, for example. This isn’t to say we don’t do those things, just look at Rush Limbaugh and his quivering jowls of impotent rage, but… Anyway, we tend to take our communicative advantages for granted.
LGBT people — That’s what they are, people, despite what a few old, white men in Congress might attempt to have you believe — are often denied this luxury. The freedom, nay, privilege, to take things for granted. To be comforted by what we have, to know that we don’t have to worry about them going up in smoke one day because some jackwagon thinks we’re ‘lesser’ than them or something equally stupid. You ever thought about how life would be if you couldn’t take anything for granted? If everything you had, economically, socially, internally, if everything in terms of your very family was ever in question? It would suck. It would suck.
You might be wondering how I know this. I’m straight. I can’t claim to have been in the shoes of someone who identifies as LGBT– but I can claim to have known them personally. Let me tell you a touching story of someone that doesn’t… Know I’m referencing them… I’m gonna get punched. But sacrifices must be made for the greater good. My lip is but a small price to pay for virtue and justice.
I made a friend over Guild Wars 2, a game I used to play occasionally. Often. Usually. Okay, okay, I was addicted. At least I wasn’t addicted to Facebook and making a post every time I saw a bird or heard a certain string of syllables. Anyway, we’ve been pals for about two years now. Recently, she started having trouble with her parents because of her sexual orientation.
Allow me to go into specifics.
Her own mother disowned her. Now, take a moment to think about what this means, on the assumption that my reader has a nice, happy two-parent household. Half of the group that shaped you, made you, gave you the chance by choice for you to be who you are… Just gave up on you for something so simple, so primal, so human as an attraction. Refused to allow her to talk to her brother that she grew up with (you may hate your siblings, but believe me when I say you don’t know what you have until it is gone), pesters her constantly about it via mail, Facebook, etcetera. My friend is frequently bullied, some of which is by one of her roommates, who feels the need to push his take of his religion’s stance on homosexuality and latent sexism on her constantly. She can’t get rid of him, either. He’s paying for a room. Further, she is constantly subjected to questions of self-worth, of self-confidence. Hopelessness isn’t an end result, it’s a common theme flowing around her life just because of who she loves.
That life, if you can even fathom living it (I certainly cannot, even as close as I am to this friend, as many tales as I’ve heard), is the experience of being silent. This is exactly what the Day of Silence is fighting to stop. What we’re raising awareness about. If you’ve ever questioned, even for a brief moment what the point of this event is, here you go. I couldn’t keep silent because it’s genuinely hard to do for me– imagine having to do it all the time, of constructing your very personality and character around the fact that you cannot speak. Of being mute when you have so much to tell. Knowing that with a word, you could change the world, but finding your lips sown shut.The metaphorical point has pierced the metaphorical page. Our society elects to subject fellow human beings to an endless trial of endurance and hardship, experiences that by the sacrifices of our forefathers, on the blood of our ancestors that fought tooth and nail to make this country the bastion of free choice that it is, nobody should have to deal with.
I hope I’ve added a mite of clarification to those in the grays of vague.
This is my first time trying to write for a cause besides making your day better, but to be fair, I warned you a while ago that I might get the muse to try to do something along these lines on my very first post eons ago.