Friday, April 25, 2008

Silence Isn't Golden

Today is the National Day of Silence.

Every year in April, we take this opportunity to reflect on the involuntary silence imposed on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered individuals through hostile action. In many cases, these actions take the form of epithets, but sometimes the outcome is much more horrific.

As a gay man, I have known that oppressive silence and I still see it in action. The time cannot come soon enough that LGBT persons are not treated as pariahs. While it is certain that much progress has been made recently, there is still much work to be done.

Today is one day when gays and their friends, families, and allies take upon themselves a voluntary silence. This deliberately imposed silence echoes the silence caused by harassment, prejudice, and discrimination. It is a day when we stand with our brethren, with our fellow human beings who have had their voices stripped away.

Today, let us reflect on the voices we will not be hearing. Today, let us imagine a world without the LGBT persons we know and love. If you can imagine the silence, the absence of the voices of your fellow man, you have taken a step toward breaking that silence.

Through our silence, we have an impact larger than any words we could say today.

Today we are symbolically voiceless, but in that muteness, some will find their voices. Today we speak out with a symbol of empowerment, of solidarity, of love.

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