>A guest post by Amena J. one of our fabulous GLSEN staff members:
This post was supposed to be a report back on GLSEN Southern Maine’s GSA Night. Wednesday the Chapter hosted an interfaith forum featuring Bishop Gene Robinson. As you can imagine the Chapter was thrilled to host an event with such an esteemed guest. I decided to fly to Portland from DC for this event. I too was excited to meet someone who has made an impact on the LGBT and faith communities.
Due to numerous travel debacles involving two planes, a bus and three states I made it to the interfaith forum 20 minutes before it was over. Frustrated and disappointed I sat and listened to the end of talks by other clergy at the forum.
Afterwards a flock of students went to Bishop Robinson for photo ops and more discussion about the speech that I never heard. I did get to meet the Bishop he shook my hand and was genuinely sympathetic to my dilemma. Bishop Robinson ended the evening with a moment of silence and closing remarks.
So what to write? As I drove to my hotel I labored over how to sum up an evening that wasn’t. After a day composed of almost 12 hours of travel and aggravation I was weary. Then it hit me. Maybe this trip was one big metaphor. It may seem cliché but sometimes we need to be reminded of a basic lesson, never give up.
On Wednesday I encountered obstacle after obstacle. It seemed the harder I tried to get to Portland the worse things got. At one point I considered heading back to DC. I’m glad I didn’t do that. Although, I did not get to hear his speech I did reach my goal of meeting Bishop Robinson. What little of the event I participated in was wonderful.
Several of you reading this blog are going to participate in the Day of Silence. Many of you have encountered some mighty struggles along the way. If you are an activist or organizer you know how hard it can be to keep going day after day. The world throws many obstacles in you path and yet you press on. Although your journey may be long and you may get weary, know that you will reach your goal.
Wishing you a wonderful Day of Silence,
>Lots of great ideas and stories being shared over on the Day of Silence facebook page (link to the right). My recent favorites are the strategies that some students have come up with to have a visual show of support for the Day of Silence, to include those who, for whatever reasons, who will be silent during breaks between classes but need to talk to fulfill class requirements or have other reasons that they cannot remain silent all day or who aren't in school. My favorite so far is the simplest one: wear red to support the DOS.
As a GLSEN staffer, I am not able to pledge complete silence but I will pledge to wear red on the 17th in support of the Day of Silence.
What other suggestions do you have for supporting the silence?
>Have you and all your friends registered? Whether you're going to be silent all day or just at lunch hour register your DOS observance at our sister site: StudentOrganizing.org.
Why register? Every person who registers with GLSEN's Student Organizing site shows that they are committed to safe schools. That number is an important way to demonstrate the great impact that the Day of Silence has in schools and communities across the country. It only takes a few moments to sign up and be counted and your registration can make a big difference.
As of today the Day of Silence will be observed in nearly 4000 schools April 17th. But we're still two weeks away. Let's get that number a whole lot higher.
Remember: Don’t just participate, REGISTER!