Day of Silence Responses
I looked into Day of Silence blog posts and found the following to be insightful.
From Joe Killian:
I helped a handful of friends organize the first Gay-Straight Alliance at my high school in Connecticut some years ago - and it wasn't smooth sailing even in that time and place. We did have sympathetic faculty, though, and the administration knew what was good for them and didn't get in our way. In fact, when a gay friend had his car windows broken and his tires punctured shortly after the group was made public it sort of galvanized the administration to stand in opposition to the meatheads who thought that kind of thing was necessary.
I did get some shit from the northern equivalent of rednecks at first. I remember, in the cafeteria of our school one day, some kids stopped me -- my friend Brian LaRue might have been with me -- to try to intimidate me and to pointedly ask if I was gay.
"What -- are you looking for a date?" I asked them.
Which, being the mental giants they were, completely flumoxed them.
From Scared Ordinary:
Before the event, the advisors had informed the students that during the Holocaust of World War II, the Nazis tried to exterminate not only Jews, but also Poles, gypsies, communists, and homosexuals. To identify these "undesirables," the Nazis required each group to wear a symbol on their clothing, as we all know. As Jews were forced to wear a yellow Star of David, homosexuals were forced to wear an inverted pink triangle. Since then, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community has reclaimed the inverted pink triangle as a symbol of pride and support for the gay rights movement. I did not know the latter, so thanks to the effort of the GSA, I became better informed.
During the morning break last week, students formed a large silent standing triangle on the main lawn. It was a deeply moving experience.
A bit of history about GLSEN co-founder Kevin Jennings and Massachusetts Governor William Weld from Lassiter Space
I knew Kevin Jennings back in the mid 90's when he was starting GLSEN. He once told me that he envisioned a future where every child learn to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. He was a teacher at the time and he devoted the next dozen or so years seeing that vision through. Gay kids nationwide owe Kevin Jennings a debt of gratitude, for making their cause his life's work.
During my Harvard days (circa 1993), I took a class called "Gay Issues in Education'' taught by prominent gayologist Dr. Arthur Lipkin. This was around the same time that former Mass. Gov. William Weld implemented a "safe schools" program that put anti-gay discrimination on par with racial discrimination within the public schools in Massachusetts. Basically it meant calling a kid a "faggot" would have the same gravitas as the N-word, for example. This is about the same time Kevin was getting GLSEN off the ground. Anyway the field work for the Harvard class was to research the efficacy of the safe school plan. Did Gov. Weld's program make schools safe for gay and lesbian youth? You betcha. In fact, Bill Weld remains my favorite republican politician ever. He was a moderate guy acting his conscience to protect gay kids.
All in all, I say that the Day of Silence was a meaningful experience for many.