Here, the event is also a big deal - in the entirely opposite direction. They made Day of Silence t-shirts to hand out, and all of them were gone within two days - a thousand or more t-shirts. I overheard administrators reminding each other to wear them. I'm not sure how many people are actually taking vows of silence for the day, but the idea at least is well-supported and I imagine the events - a silent vigil and a "breaking the silence" party later - will be well-attended.
So... what's the point? Always the question, whether I'm doing it in high school or here at "gay mecca." We're certainly not protesting discrimination at OUR school (though Cuccinelli's attempt to reinstate discrimination in Virginia schools could certainly be seen as a "silencing," it's pretty much a non-issue at this point).
The PRISM (queer club) president said it this way:
"The Day of Silence is intended to recognize those in the GLBTTQQIAAP community who have been forced to remain silent about their identity due to hate and ignorance. The Day of Silence is an event to celebrate all members of the community and acknowledge the struggle they have faced. "
I really like that. This an incredibly open school - there's a lot of ability to be out and proud and a wide support system. But when we all go home in a couple of weeks, that won't be the reality for a lot of people. I like the idea of setting aside a day to acknowledge that sometimes being gay really sucks, but there's a community here to support and celebrate us all.
So... That's why I'm silent today! Don't worry, I'll be back to loud and obnoxious first thing tomorrow.
What's GLBTTQQIAAP stand for?
Back when I was at uni (almost ten years ago now) there was the GLB, which was Gay, Lesbian, and Bi. Then a T got added for Transexual. Is the other T for transgender? And a Q for queer? (What's the difference between gay and queer, btw?) But after that, I get lost.
I understand that everyone deserves to be represented, but that acronym does strike me as rather unweildy...
Gay lesbian bi transgender transexual queer questioning intersex asexual ally pansexual.
Gay is liking people of the same sex, queer is a more general term - it just means "not heterosexual."
The acronym is incredibly unwieldy. But it's always kind of funny watching people try to say the whole thing! We usually say "alphabet soup" for short (or "GLBTQ etc etc")
Maybe I should start a campaign for an extra 'A'--for us anthrozoasexuals :)
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