Leave My Past Behind

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!

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4 thoughts on “Leave My Past Behind

  1. Me too. And forgive me Daniel if I don’t join you tomorrow. For one thing, work commitments won’t permit it. But also, I was silent long enough, thank you very much, for the same reasons you were, and I don’t want to be silent any more.

  2. Good for you. We have all done things along the way that now seem utterly ridiculous. The good news is that we have made choices now as adults that allow us to not have to compensate in those ways.. we can be more authentic now, because we are finally being honest and true. Of course we might have to just own up to the things we did, but its BY FAR better than living dishonestly. I am happy for you, and I applaud you.

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