“Homo”, “faggot”, “lesbo”, “chakka”, “pussy”, “sinner”. Whether we like to admit it or not, regardless of all the support towards homosexuality in the new media, there is still a constant struggle to be who you are without being labelled or bullied in the confined walls of your family, home or school.
From a 15-year-old boy setting himself on fire for being teased by his neighbours to a 28-year-old Indian Mr. Gay World contestant withdrawing himself from the contest due to homophobic bullies. The effects of bullying and harassment of the LGBT community are still all around us. But today, despite our natural instincts to be noisy about it, we take a vow of silence and here are the 10 reasons you should, too.
Shedding light on serious concerns.
So, in the United States, the Day of Silence is the annual day of action to spread awareness about the effects of the bullying and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students. But why? Because shedding light on homosexual bullying in schools is standing up against the high risk of teen suicide that haunts the LGBT youths because of it. If you ever had the privilege of being different, then you know, that people (especially little teen people) throw rocks at things that shine. Let’s not let them.
Putting pressure to endorse the right thing.
Unlike India, where a school principal would shift in his chairs and click his tongue multiple times at being gay. Students in the the western world, take permission, organize events and take a vow of silence for the day, (like Gandhi did), to put the right kind of pressure on the wrong-doers of the bullying world and the people who do nothing about it. Yes, you, teachers. It’s about endorsing the right thing, stepping in and standing up — even if it makes you uncomfortable.
Letting your silence echo their silence.
I hate to get all resistance-fighter on you but our deliberate silence echoes the silence which is caused by the “why are you so butthurt” jokes. The silence that turns into a muffled cry at home and nothing more. It’s time we end that and put a stop to the “jokes”. The first step is fighting these injustices is by supporting a cause that is the antithesis to it.
Sharing legitimate lessons to learn about prejudice and bias.
Forget homosexuality for a moment, prejudice needs to be eradicated regardless of who it is targeted at. Insert in: the Day of Silence. The ultimate promotion of do not discriminate, do not objectify, do not spread hate. Wouldn’t you want to support that? A world free of prejudice and an educational day for a learning environment free of victims, LGBT harmfulness and youth risk. Did I hear a “sign me up”?
A time to come together.
Let’s be honest, (maybe except the gay-pride-parade), have you ever really stood with your or this community for a cause? The Day of Silence gives you another opportunity to stand together and “speak out” against the endemic name-calling, bullying and harassment faced by LGBT students, adult people and their allies. You can even do it in a colourful costume, if you’d like.
Awakening teachers who don’t always know harassment.
Okay, this isn’t about teacher-bashing, this is simply about human nature and how supervising adults sometimes miss reading the fine print. They don’t know what’s going on in lunch break, in the washroom or after school in the bus. Let them know, if not with your words then with your signs and support.
Not rubbing your sexuality but your tolerance in their face.
Before the Christian or pro-Hindu squad comes for me (I know they will), the Day of Silence isn’t primarily about sexuality and gender. Yes, we are highlighting the plight of bullying in the LGBT youth. But bullying is also universal. So why is standing against it not a cause worth fighting for? No matter which team you play for, a foul is a foul.
Being a model of what it means to stand up.
You should support the Day of Silence because this is your opportunity to create positive influence. Be an advocate for what is appropriate towards a person of the LGBT community. If you are openly gay and your Instagram is lit with followers who don’t dull your shine, then use that to propel the message of no hate and no bullying to new heights. Do you, in a way that Lady Gaga would.
Fair chance to be heard.
Lets face it, like I said before, there aren’t many days in India to give the LGBT community a fair chance to be heard. Let’s implement the good ones while we can. Send out a tweet, share a Facebook post, hold a parent-teacher meeting, spread awareness for homosexuality and anti-bullying because someone’s life depends on it and they need to hear from you.
Raise awareness for the oppression faced.
Maybe you are not oppressed. Maybe you are openly gay or just open-minded. But a lot of youth in India isn’t. They need you. They need you to make it okay to be themselves and it not-okay for them to be bullied for it. Can you do that for them with your Day of Silence? Think about the voices you are not hearing today. What are you doing to end their suffering?