It’s not for show. It’s not for cool points. It’s about equality.
This year, we have seen movements for equality around the United States and even the world. This month, millions of people put red “equal” signs as their profile pictures on Facebook to let the world know they believe in equality as people marched up to the United States Congress to fight for Gay Marriage. New Zealand became the 13th country to pass a law permitting gay marriage legal. This great world has not lost it’s humanity.
In the wake of the Boston Marathon Bombings this week, I heard a quote that really changed me. Patton Oswalt, actor and comedian who has played in such films as Young Adult and Ratatouille, said this quote: “I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths. But here’s what I DO know. If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they’re pointed towards darkness.”
Every day, we wake up to more bad news and more reasons to doubt humanity. Those who stop equality seem to out-shine those who do support and believe in. Last year, I told you the history of the National Day of Silence. It was founded in 1996 as a student-led actions towards creating safer schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation, identity, or preference. The word that caught me off guard this year is the word “student.”
As a teacher, I boast about being an advocate for those who do not have a voice. I have gay students, friends, and family members. That does not change my feelings or attitude towards them. I love them. I need them in my life. I am so proud of them. Yet, it baffles me, when I look into their eyes, that they are denied the “rights” that I have. I have no idea if I want to get married. I have no idea if I want children or serve in the military. (The military is not my thing….) But, I am straight. So, why do I have the right and someone who is passionate about it and just happens to be gay cannot do what I have the right to do?
That is why I support the day of silence. Although I cannot be silent ALL day long as I have to teach, I will stand with all of you. You have the right to participate, regardless of race, creed, gender, and sexual orientation. And guess what? Public schools in AMERICA support this as, “Under the Constitution, public schools must respect students’ right to free speech. The right to speak includes the right not to speak, as well as the right to wear buttons or T-shirts expressing support for the cause.” You still have to answer when a teacher calls on you, but you have the right to remain silent during class.
If you have ever felt alone… and this week is sure full of lonely and isolating things, remember, we are here for you. We are standing with you. We understand you. Why? Because we love you. Being gay is not a choice. Love? Yeah. That’s a choice. And we choose to spread it around the world. We spread it thick! We LOVE you.
Remember. The world has bad guys… but humanity is not doomed. WE CAN CHANGE HISTORY. We can be the change. So, stand with me today and stand for those who cannot speak. Stand with me for those who are denied rights EVERY DAY. Stand for the person next to you or your future children. Stand.
Have a wonderful day.
You are loved.