I asked readers who participated in a Day of Silence to tell me how it went for them. Below are four very different experiences.
Today, I was shamed. On the Day of Silence I wore a shirt to express myself and symbolize how I feel. The front of the shirt I had the following:I am silent on this day for I am gay (drawing of a star) 4-17 (drawing of a star) Day of Silence (Drawing of Piece Sign) Love (drawing of a Heart) (Drawing of Two symbols female drawing of two symbols male) Peace Shhh
On the reverse side:I carry the gay gene is in my DNA (drawing of DNA) (drawing of a closet) A closet is for clothes I’m Gay wana know if you are? If you’re hot and you know it… (With my # ) Call me
I was in 2nd period, when my teacher was walking behind me. I feel she must have read my shirt while walking on the way computer lab... Then [she] called me out of class. As I was getting up to step outside, the Vice Principle came in and said “I need to talk to you in private.” He said “For your protection, I don’t want you getting harassed, I think you should cross out these items.” He said I needed to cross out the “I’m Gay wanna know if you are?” and “If your hot and you know it call me" with my #...I did understand I probably should not have my number on my shirt. So at that time I agreed...
At this point I am only writing all my responses and nodding and shaking my head to not break my silence..I proceed into the bathroom where I crossed off the two items he requested. Then I wrote two more phrases that were not offensive an any way, shape of form. The first was Gay humor will never be allowed but that does not stop my good humor. And the other one said Censored, For my and your peace” (with an big arrow pointing at the blackened marks on my shirt).
When I went back into the office he told me to turn around and asked what the new writing was. Keeping my silence, I did not answer him. And he told me doing that was 'like raising a middle finger to him.' So he told me that I had to cross all of that out or call my mom for a new shirt or turn my shirt inside out or wear my P. E. Shirt. Then I turned my shirt around in his office and crossed it off. He said if any thing new was written on my shirt "there was going to be trouble.” I left his office I went to my fourth period class...
I am in the gay straight alliance, and meetings are held on the school campus. If I were going to be harassed by students that would be a perfect opportunity for them. I was not harassed by any students before school...and no student harassed me at any time during the day.
[My vice principal] said my shirt was a distraction but many students in the school wear shirts through out the year with writing on them all the time. I did not have anything discriminating on my shirt. I feel that I was singled out for being gay.
One last thing: I have been openly gay at my school for over a year and have not once have I been harassed.
My school had the event. even though they didn't “host” it. it was a very peaceful event. we had free hugs in the quad during lunch. there really wasn’t any issues with students arguing about the day...i was very pleased at how the student body didn’t react as they have in previous years.
me and my friends at school took part in the national day of silence and it was all pretty much ok until i got to art class(4th period) then it all went down hill because i just recently came out i wasnt use to the harassment that i was in store for me when i got there. i obviously wasnt talking and thats not like me so they asked me why(i hadnt come out to this people,didnt see the reason why they needed to know).
i handed them one of the sticky notes with the reason on it and a few people were ok with and still talk to me to this day but this one girl went crazy! she started cussing me out and saying i was disgusting and i should die and im going to hell, things i was expecting. i was just kind of surprised that someone could be so cruel and mean. and in 3rd period i wrote it on the board so everyone one would know and my teacher had no problem but when the people walked in they were all like eww except the guys.
i was really surprised at how many people were surprised that i was doing this because im always talking and cracking jokes but i was quite all day.
I'd like to take> the time to point out the fact that yes, I did participate. However, I very, very strongly believe silence is the opposite of what we should do...How can we get our points across if we don't use our words? I'm just tired of others telling me how to live my life. But we have to remember, this is a young country, and we're just now making changes and realizations that other countries have made in the past.