As expected, not talking was difficult for me to do. But surprisingly enough, staying silent was one of the easier parts of my day. The real challenge presented itself when I had to explain, with only a speaking card, some miming, pen and paper, why I was being silent for the day. Reactions, understandably, were mixed.
Many of my peers spent the day trying to get me to talk: “Hey, Virginia, if you have AIDS, don’t say anything.” But when I left the house this morning, I didn’t expect much less from Leesville. I even had a (typed out) conversation with a teacher of mine about reactions to the Day of Silence. When I told him that people were making jokes about the movement, he was oddly surprised.
But his initial shock got me thinking: the default reaction to intimidation for teens is alienation of the abnormal things in life. Usually I am against generalization, but the average high-schooler is too consumed with gossip and afraid of compromising their image to dedicate themselves to a movement and opinion like this that their peers might not agree with.
While I was silently contemplating my frustration at school, this little editorial was much more eloquent. There isn’t much more to say other than that people are always going to disagree with you. We all believe in something, and it’s staying strong against prejudices and scrutiny that make a cause worthwhile.
I’m glad that I was a part of DOS 2011. Though I did have to bite my tongue at times and really focus on not talking, I would not take back this decision for anything. No, I am not gay or a lesbian, but I don’t support a cause for my own needs – but for the needs of others.
To those who are oppressed by social prejudices, to those who are fighting for a voice and for accepted love – you will not be silent for long.