The Day of Silence is about more than shutting the hell up for a while.

I am in rare form tonight after debating with anti-LGBT bigots in the comments section of a particularly hateful and ignorant article detailing why parents should keep their children away from school on the Day of Silence.

Many of you know me as being sarcastic at the worst of moments, and hotheaded at the best. There is little in this world that can cause a real rise out of me, and little that I allow myself to take seriously.

Linda Harvey, the president of Mission America (a religious website that spends most of its resources denouncing homosexuality, because that’s far more important than promoting the  love and acceptance that the Bible promotes) and host of a talkshow on WRFD “life-changing radio” posted “10 Reasons to Walk out on The Day of Silence“. I regret posting this link, given the volatile and ignorant nature of its content, but I feel as though this is an article that needs to be read to be believed. Harvey says in her post that the Day of Silence is not about rejecting hate politics and bullying as we (the LGBTQ community, though such an acronym is beyond use by this woman) say it is. Rather, the goal of DOS is evidently to “exploit the tender sympathies of kids to promote homosexuality and gender confusion.”

I am not angry right now, I am extremely downtrodden. People like this will never understand that the Day of Silence exists because of them.

I don’t feel the need to explain the LGBT rights movement to you. You are aware of what we fight for and how difficult it is (and is still going to be) to get to our end goal. Sometimes I forget how cruel anti-gay people can be. On a daily basis I surround myself with like-minded individuals and do not often face hatred in my life. For this I am grateful, as I have essentially created a cocoon of comfort so that I’m not driven to madness by bigotry.

There is something about myself that I haven’t often divulged to those outside of my personal life that I feel the need to tell you now to preface the rest of this blog. I am prone to depression and suicidal ideation, having a history of both. I know this of myself and I know how to keep it in check. I know when these thoughts get bad enough for me to seek help. Unfortunately, that is not the case for many people, especially teens and young children, who are LGBTQ or questioning of their sexuality or gender identity.

Harvey’s column leaves me not only angry but extremely disenchanted. People like Harvey are either unaware or uninterested of/in the fact that they are the reason why LGBTQ kids commit suicide.

Like I said, I have been commenting on this post back and forth with people who agree with Harvey. The first thing I posted, in response to the article itself, was, “If ignorance is bliss why are people like this always so angry?”

My comment was met with another by a user identifying as “SATCitizen”. He or she said, “This is a discriminatory day of silence. . .should include all groups and not just one. . .this is pandering and pushing an agenda.”

I struggled with forming a response to this idiocy. This shows me that whoever SATCitizen is has no interest in facts, but only wishes to try to throw the LGBT rights movement back in our faces while trying to dismember it. He or she is not well researched or intelligent in their views, but is spewing forth hate speech that he or she most likely heard from conservapedia or some political/religious official. This realization lead me to the following response:

“Having a focus topic is not discriminatory, and any argument saying such is idiotic. African American History month is not discriminatory against other races or ethnicities, celebrating Christmas isn’t discriminatory against non-Christians, being a fan of a television show isn’t discriminatory against other television shows, and the Day of Silence isn’t discriminatory against other minority groups. I know that trying to reason with people like you isn’t exactly doable, so I’m going to stop trying. You hate us, you will never agree with us, and no matter how hard you try your logical fallacy will never trump the truth of the matter, which is that you are on the wrong side of a civil rights movement and history will not be kind to you.”

The Day of Silence isn’t just about shutting the fuck up for a day as a form of protest, it’s meant to symbolize the silence that bullied children are often made to endure. It isn’t about furthering our movement, it’s about rejecting hate and letting LGBTQ kids everywhere know that someone out there cares for them. It isn’t about promoting homosexuality, it’s about holding those accountable who bully others to death.

I am going to leave you with that sentiment. If you wish to see more of my interaction with these hate mongers I encourage you to read the comments section of the post I linked to above. All of my comments are transparent and posted under my real name. I have nothing to hide, unlike some of the cowards spreading their hate.

I have nothing profound to say to you that you haven’t already heard before, so I will just say this: I may not know you, I may not ever meet you, I may not ever laugh with you or cry with you, but I can tell you this: I love you. You are a human being worthy of dignity and respect. No matter what anybody else says, no matter what you are told by hateful bigots like Linda Harvey, I dearly hope that you know this. You are a person, not an abomination. You are loved.

If you are facing bullying or discrimination and it ever becomes too much for you to handle I encourage you to phone the Trevor Project lifeline at 866-488-7386. Asking for help is the bravest thing a person in need can do.

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