On Friday, April 27 (tomorrow) the Gay Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) will promotes it’s student-led national event that allows folks take observe silence to highlight the silencing and erasure of LGBTQ people at school often a result of bullying, harassment, and violence aimed at lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.
Human Rights Campaign (HRC), shares that 4 in 10 LGBT youth (42% ) say the community in which they live is not accepting of LGBT people. LGBT youth are twice as likely to say they have been psychically assaulted, kicked or shoved at school. 9 in 10 LBGT youths say they are out to their close friends and 64% say they are out to their classmates.
Adults, it seems our youth are doing a better job of being youth, than perhaps we are doing as adults! WE are the ones responsible for protecting youth, not just our own, not just the ones who dress like us, talk like us, eat like us, dance like us, love like us, or pray like us… ALL OF THEM ALL THE TIME!
We have a responsibility from the oldest and largest pulpits, to the person you sit next to on the bus. I say tolerance does not work, and I don’t have room for it. I want us to work on cooperation, compassion, kindness, understanding, welcoming, including, meeting… even if that means you will be unfamiliar, uncomfortable, and unsure. Your silence when others are being abused, oppressed, pushed, and treated in ways you would not allow your sibling or child or parents to face… it is killing our youth, and allowed them to be hurt.
I challenge each of you to observe at least one hour of silence tomorrow. NOT ONE WORD. NO TEXTING. NO EMAIL. NO PHONE CALLS. NO CONVERSATIONS. SILENCE! And then think about the people who have to LIVE DAYS at at time like that… fearing for the lives!