Letter to the Editor: Day of Silence
April 22, 2016
Today, I participated in the “Day of Silence”. As described by its website, the Day of Silence “is a student-led national event that brings attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools” by taking a vow of silence for a day.
I didn’t really know what to think — I just kind of did it because I have many friends in the LGBT community. What I found was maybe different than what the creators of the Day of Silence intended, but was still very profound.
It was insanely hard not being able to respond to people. I imagine that’s how people of the LGBT community feel – they are unable to fully respond to their parents, love ones, or friends about who they really are. They might feel “trapped”, unable to speak freely about their true self. Being a straight, white male, I’ve frankly never had this perspective.
After enduring this inability to respond as myself for a only a few short hours, what I learned is that we should all listen more to the perspectives that other people can share with us, so that we don’t silence them or let them be silenced. And when we do decide to speak about these things, we should probably head a rather beautiful Arabic proverb:
“The mouth should have three gatekeepers:
is it kind?
is it true?
is it necessary?”