Since the Day of Silence was a couple of days ago, I feel obligated to write a little something about it. I practiced the day of silence my last year of high school and if I wasn’t always out of place in my school in Oklahoma, my participation dug the nail in that coffin.
The Day of Silence has a good message, but at the same time, I think we need to step away from silence as our form of protest. If you aren’t familiar with the Day of Silence, it’s a day of symbolism about how many LGBT youth (and adults) feel they cannot speak about their sexuality and the purpose of the campaign is to end this silence.
Since I last practiced the Day of Silence, being gay or lesbian was exactly a walk in the park (not saying it’s all sunshine and rainbows today but it’s gotten better). My wife (who was my girlfriend at the time), had to keep our relationship a secret so she could get into the military and had to continue doing so until they finally repealed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. We couldn’t get married in most places and even if we did, it wouldn’t have been recognized by the military until a few years ago because of where she was stationed.
But things are different now. And they aren’t pefect but they’ve gotten better. And being LGBT isn’t the stigma that it once was, although there are a lot of haters still- but the majority of those people are probably idiots anyway, so whatever.
We need to break this silence once and for all. I refuse to go back to the person I was. I refuse to hide who I am because it isn’t what some people find acceptable.
If you’re LGBT or even not sure if you are, talk to someone. It might be your parents or a friend. There are numbers you can call, there are groups out there to help you. Struggling with it alone is never the right option. I know from personal experience and it is still affecting my ability to communicate with the people closest to me today.
And I’m not going to tell you that once you come out and accept yourself, it’ll be easy. It might not be, and that’s why you need the support from the people that will help you and not make you feel like there’s something wrong with you.
Never feel like you’re all alone in your stuggle. Never feel like taking your life away is the answer to ending the pain and stress of not being accepted. And if you feel like you have no one at all to talk to and feel you can’t reach out to external resources like hotlines and auooort groups, talk to me. I’m not a professional, no, but I would never turn down the opportunity to try and help someone.
And if you’re reading this, please share. I never ask of that, but this is something that is very important and the more people it reaches, the more it might help.