Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Larry King and Lance Bass speak out for gay students

April 25, which just passed, is the Day of Silence. It's when students choose to literally not say a word all day.

So imagine a workplace or school where no one is saying a word. You have to wonder how do they get through the day. Someone else will tell that story.

I'm here to answer "Why?"

Why? Because with or without this strange holiday, gay and transgender students are being forced to be silent about who they are. 15 year old Lawrence King was shot for expressing his gender identity when he dressed in girl's clothing. He knew dressing that way would provoke hostility because he was bullied everyday before being shot. A few people, including some in the gay community, have asked "why" as well. The answer shouldn't need explanation: he dressed the way he did because that was his authentic self-expression, and he hurt no one for doing so. The only "harm" Lawrence caused was the imaginary harm in the minds of those bullies. And yet there are people who wished that Lawrence had appeased those bullies, because well, they were murderers.

No one would advise Lawrence to "cover up" if those boys weren't violent. Like I said, Lawrence's self expression didn't hurt anyone. But when surrounded by violently predjudiced people, we are all afraid for the individual they target. So we desparately advise "cover up" and "don't talk about it" to avoid the wrath of the monsters who can't be reasoned with.

Bullying takes many forms, and Lawrence faced them all: name-calling ("fag" "your so gay"), harassment, and intimidation. These were not physically violent, but they sent the message "act gay, and we'll get you".

This message was sent whether or not the bullies were consciously aiming for it. And yes, we are responsibilible for our actions, conscious or unconscious.


Larry King and Lance Bass

This year's Day of Silence was dedicated to Lawrence King, whom went by "Larry". I think this man was happy to share his name.

This N*Sync star was also, as always, vocal

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