Tomorrow is the National Day of Silence, to commemorate the silence that gay youth experience before they come out of the closet. I am very excited to participate by taking up a vow of silence tomorrow. I am well acquainted with the silence the day is supposed to raise awareness of, but I have not always felt the way I feel about the Day of Silence. In 2002, as a Sophomore in High School, I teamed up with some of my friends to make (and sell) t-shirts that said “Straight Pride” on them and had a picture of two men holding hands with a cross through it. We were going to wear them on the Day of Silence, but that day I decided it wasn’t a good idea, and I put all of the t-shirts in my locker. The school found out and confiscated them.
In 2003 on the Day of Silence I wrote a satire about a Day of Silence held to honor pedophiles. Yes, I compared homosexuals to pedophiles, a comparison that now makes my hair stand on end. In 2004 I wrote a diatribe against gay marriage.
I am sure you see the irony of all this. Don’t click the links if you have a soft stomach. I was really compensating. I think the Day of Silence at my high school scared me so much because I was angry that I felt forced into silence and didn’t see a way out. I was keeping a heavy secret, and others around me seemed to be celebrating the fact that they didn’t have to keep their secrets anymore. I was jealous, confused, and angry.
Not to mention I was paranoid that others would figure me out, and I had to throw them off. Vocalizing opposition to homosexuality, I’m sure, made them all certain that I couldn’t possible be gay.
And so, tomorrow, I pay tribute to those who are still in silence while celebrating the fact that I don’t have to be silent anymore (mostly). So here’s to how far I’ve come!