Let’s be honest: Georgetown is pretty gay. That’s exactly why the Day of Silence is so important, though. It’s a reminder of what young students experience across the nation every day. For me, it’s a reminder of high school.
I’m from the home of the ever-famous Don’t Say Gay Bill. The legislation itself was not necessary, though. No one talked about gay issues anyway. I felt alone and I was scared. I didn’t know how to reconcile my sexuality with my faith; I didn’t know if any of my friends or family would still love me; I didn’t know anyone who was openly gay; and I had no support. It wasn’t that nobody was an ally, but nobody talked about it, so I had no idea.
While participating in the Day of Silence is nothing like this personal fear, it is the closest I can come today to once again experiencing the need for expression of myself. Many times during the day, I will have something that I really want to say, and I will not be able to say it, because I have taken the vow of silence. Not being able to express myself can even be somewhat physically painful as excitement or tension builds that cannot be released with words. As I grow frustrated, I will remember that so many students in America have it much worse for so much longer than one day. This reminder is why the Day of Silence is still necessary.
Even though Georgetown is an open and supportive place for the LGBTQ community, many places are not, and participating in the Day of Silence is a way of remembering how much work we still need to do to ensure that all students feel comfortable expressing themselves.