Friday, April 25, 2008
The Sounds of Silence
As you may have heard, today is the National Day of Silence. Over 7,000 high school students have registered to participate. The National Day of Silence brings attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools.
This year’s event is held in memory of Lawrence King, a California 8th-grader who was shot and killed Feb. 12 by a classmate because of his sexual orientation and gender expression. Students will come together to encourage schools and classmates to address the problem of anti-LGBT behavior. (EDIT: LGBT: Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transexual)
Silence is a powerful thing. Silence in the face of bigotry and bullying lends it power, gives it strength. Today's event is meant to break that silence, to get people thinking and eventually talking about how to take away that power.
I'm sure school teachers world-wide would agree that the very concept of hundreds (or even a dozen) high school students being quiet is highly unusual and not something easily accomplished, so perhaps today can be the start of something better.
On one hand, silence is what I wish for Larry. I don't want the last things Larry heard to have been his attacker's bigoted commentary on what he was about to do, so that he died afraid, or thinking that he'd caused this to happen, simply for the way he dressed...and for wanting to be someone's Valentine. I hope (perhaps vainly) that the end was a surprise...just blissful silence and peace.
On the other hand, this is one of those times when I very much want there to be an Afterlife, with a view back to our sorry little world. That way, I'll know that Larry can see just how many people there are who miss him, who love him for who he was and believe that this shouldn't happen to any kid, for any reason.
We miss you, Larry. We're trying to make it mean something.