Day of Silence is an Opportunity for LGBTQ Families

The Day of Silence is
fast approaching. On April 25, hundreds of thousands of folks from
all across the country will take an oath of silence to bring
attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in
schools. This year’s event will be held in memory of Lawrence
King, a California 8th-grader who was shot and killed Feb. 12 by a
classmate because of his sexual orientation and gender

This day is a tremendous opportunity for LGBTQ parents to talk
about policies that protect our families.

In her blog, Sara
Whitman is chronically her family’s participation in the Day of
Silence. In her own words:

This morning, Jeanine and I were treated to a fourth
grade presentation on the civil rights movement in the southeast
region of the country. It was a timeline of PowerPoint
presentations, from slavery to the civil rights movement.

Our son Zachary presented the book he read with a classmate.
Excellent work.

What struck me though, was the two parents that came up to me and
mentioned that Zachary had told their son that he was going to be
silent one day at school. That is was a protest.

I was surprised. We had talked about the Day of Silence and what it
was for over dinner the other night…

Zachary, obviously, soaked it in. He told his friend that it was
about the violence against gays and lesbians- he didn’t understand
the bisexual or transgender piece- and it was about being silent in
protest of that violence…

I’ve emailed Zachary’s teachers and offered to go speak about why
Zachary will be silent that day.


I spoke with the teachers and they are very excited to have Zachary
do this and want me to come in and explain to the class what
Zachary is doing and why. They asked that Zachary wait till the
Friday following vacation week so parental notification fliers can
be sent out.

The reality even in as progressive a school district as Newton, MA,
is that one of the only things that require notification is
discussion of gay families.

I said I’d ask Zachary. The national day falls on a day when they
are all on vacation. Could he wait until the week after?

He agreed. I explained that I would come in and talk to his class.
He nodded seriously, Sounds good.

I’m watching my son who was so shy at one point, he didn’t say a
word when his bus driver didn’t stop at his house and drove him to
the depot, parked and left without checking the seats. A boy we
held back from starting kindergarten because he wouldn’t ask a
teacher out loud for more snack or raise his hand during morning
circle. A boy who would hide behind me when relatives came to
visit, taking so long to speak up his older cousin would ask,
Where’s the little one?

A silent protest fits him well.

Proud? More than proud.