Today is the Day of Silence, an event recognized in Canada and the US. Participants spend the day not speaking to show solidarity with those in the queer community who are forced into silence.
I'm one of the lucky ones. I haven't really experienced homophobia at all. Oh, there were those women who said my girlfriend and I should go into church and 'pray for our sins' when we walked past holding hands, and there are still the occasional passive-aggressive comments from my dad, but by and large, I haven't had to deal with discrimination. Discomfort, yes, when my boss asks if I have a boyfriend, but no violence, no insults, no harassment.
Why, then, do I communicate only through pen and paper on this day? Why do I wear duct tape over my mouth?
For the not so lucky ones.
For the Matthew Sheppards of this world.
For everyone who's had to maintain that careful distance from their partner in public.
For the hundreds or thousands who wore the pink triangle during WWII.
For every desk and cubicle bereft of photos of a loved one.
For every cancer patient who's dying alone because 'life partners' aren't allowed in ICU.
For every straight kid who was bullied mercilessly because he or she dared stand up for human rights.
For every suicide victim who was forced into 'therapy' designed to 'cure them' of something that was never a disease.
For every jeer of fag, dyke, lezzie, or queer that rings through the school hall.
For every couple that waits for hours in the adoption agency office, only to be told that they can't have the child the long for just because one of them has the wrong chromosome.
For every test, show, assignment, or fashion trend that's been called gay.
For each and every person who was brought up to believe what he or she feels is somehow wrong.
For the hope that someday, everyone–-straight, gay, bi, asexual, or poly-–will be able to show his or her love without fear of reproach.
I'm silent so that one day, my son or daughter won't have to be.
x-posted to deesarrachi, my Facebook, and the GSA Facebook Group.