I noticed a lot today in my Vow of Silence. A lot of people made fun of me, telling me that they liked it better with me not talking. I know they were just kidding, but it still affected me. That’s all well and good for them, but they just didn’t get what I was doing, I don’t think. The point of Silent Day is that it represents those in the LBGTQ &t community that do not have a voice. They can not express themselves out of fear and because of the bigotry of others. They choose not express themselves, as I have.
Being silent I noticed that I just melted away into the background. Having someone not speak to you as s/he is ordering a soup can be a bit unnerving. GOOD. I’m glad it unnerved you.
When people were teasing me for wearing the tape across my mouth, I couldn’t say anything about it. I couldn’t tell them to shut up, all I could do was smile and laugh through my nose. And I noticed that people talked more around me, rather than joining me in my Silence. They wanted me to respond, and I chose not to.
I realised that people really fear Silence. It freaks them out. We have grown up in a society where we NEED to talk to express ourselves. And when someone isn’t doing that it puts everyone off guard.
I have never been Silent about who I am. I have always spoken out against bigoted oppressors and fag-haters, but today I couldn’t do that. There were a few that were genuinely interested, but the vast majority of them just tried to get me to talk. Some people are too afraid to talk, or simply do not want to; why try and force them?
I’m glad it unnerved those that stared at me. I’m glad they felt uncomfortable. I’m glad that they laughed openly at me, because it shows their cruelty. A couple of times I felt the need to remove my tape and just start talking, but I knew I couldn’t do that because it would defeat the purpose.
This has been a good exercise for me as well as those around me. Sure, one person alone is not powerful, but if there were a group of us it would have been so much better. Perhaps next year I will try and organize a campus-wide Silent Protest.
It made me realise that in Montana, or at least in Kalispell, the LBGTQ &t problems seemingly don’t exist. But the fact is that they do; we just don’t see the problem because the LBGTQ &t community is so silent here. We are afraid, at times, to speak out.
But we shouldn’t have to be.
I’m reminded of the dead LBGTQ &t youth. Those that have killed themselves because of the bigotry, that have silenced themselves forever. Their silence swallowed them whole, and they will never speak again. A heavy price to pay for freedom, I think. This one day of Silence has been torturous. It’s hard not to express myself like I usually do.
And that is the point. That is the entire point.
It makes us all uncomfortable. And it will continue to be uncomfortable until there is equality for all persons, gay, straight, bi, lesbian, trans*, male, female, &t. I keep forgetting sometimes that I am a second class citizen, until someone reminds me. Today I have reminded myself for the entire day.
It isn’t a fun thing, being a second class citizen, or even a third class, or whatever.
We shouldn’t have classes. We should just all BE.
END BIGOTRY. NOH8!