In unbiased, unspecific terms, the Day of Silence is an opportunity to maintain a vigil that simultaneously reflects on lives cut tragically short and to serve as a reminder of the end result of hatred, prejudice, and indifference. If you are a progressive proponent, it is a day in honor of and reserved for the suffering of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities of America a chance to proclaim a social and political message that the worth of a person is not determined by his or her sexual orientation, and that discrimination on such a merit is no better than racism or sexism. If your views are more orthodox, it is paradoxically an unacceptable acceptance of a deviant lifestyle, the promotion of an agenda that leads to the desecration of traditional family and community values.
It would be a lie to say that my own view of the Day of Silence is itself unbiased. I am a quietly proud Christian and a proponent of the value of the family, but my experiences and times with members of the GLBT community has erased the prejudices I once held as a child and shown me that within the structure of a family, it is love and understanding that truly comprise a warm and nurturing home. I neither begrudge the traditional family nor exalt it, and the same applies to nontraditional families as well.
However, I speak neither as a prophet from the mount nor as a man seeking to incite rebellion. I am no master of rhetoric to sway hearts and change convictions, and I come bearing neither science nor scripture to assert any claims you may yet expect of me. In the spirit of silence, I offer no testimony either, the same as those who have truly suffered and been muted thereafter. If it is stories and memoirs you seek, turn elsewhere; I seek to bring hope and serenity for my causes, not fury and indignation.
I instead have a simple request of everyone who would read this, regardless of how you perceive yourself and the people around you: please, put an end to the antagonism and strife that has plagued the Day of Silence. It is a most unsettling scene that the most vocal proponents of each side regard the other with disdain, condemnation, and outright malice unsettling in that each side is supposedly striving for a greater love. I have seen the advocates of gay rights mock their opponents as backwards, spiteful and ignorant; and I have in turn seen the advocates of traditional values accuse their opponents of being immoral, promiscuous, and thoughtless. I will not deny that there are indeed people of both sides that fit such profiles, but when such generalizations are blanketed over the entire discourse between the two, nothing productive can or will ever come of it.
I have heard of threats, vandalism, harassment, and even violence employed as means of getting people to see things the right way; neither progressives nor the orthodox claim a monopoly on such travesties. On the Day of Silence, people campaigning for boundless love as much as the love of Christ have employed tactics that embody the complete opposite of their ideals tactics based upon alienation and hostility. Nothing could be more contrary to the promises that encompass love, for such promises are based on acceptance, understanding, and compassion.
It is my own sincere wish that the Day of Silence is not a necessity, and my own belief that the quality of ones character should determine how we perceive them, and not an immutability such as sexual orientation. I recognize, however, that people do disagree with my view and I respect their right and ability to vocalize and exercise their own personal convictions. I do not come asking for a mass conversion, then I ask simply that you respect the human dignity of even the people you may disagree with, and remember that regardless of who we are, who we love, or what we believe in, we are all still human, and share those same feelings of love, sadness, and anger in spite of our differences. And at the least, if you cannot learn to love your fellow man, at least do him no harm, for life can be a lot hard enough without the burden of anothers needless cruelty. If you cannot speak with love, then at least preserve a respectful silence.