It's that time of year again-- The day when we demonstrate the silence forced, faced, and feared by so many of our gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and otherwise fabulous people; the day we zip our lips in memory of those we've lost to hate crimes and suicides; the day we put aside our differences inside our amazingly diverse community and try to show those who don't understand what it's like having to deal with such a painful silence just how it feels, but for a much less painful time: One day.
Of course, there are those who don't share our views. Most of these people just don't understand, and need to be enlightened. Sadly, however, many of those who do not understand are also unwilling to try. Some try to break our silence with intimidation, others try to keep it in place permanently by any means available... But we are strong, we are brave, we are resilient, and most important of all: WE ARE UNITED.
We at Hayfield are fortunate to have a very diverse educational and administrative staff. Of course, this has potential for problems as well, but hopefully none will occur this year. I am pleased to be able to say this year that we have the support of our principal, Dr. William Oehrlein, as well as many of the teachers and staff members, including Director of Student Activities Steve Kewer. I do wish to make clear that the school is not sponsoring the Day of Silence at Hayfield, nor is it endorsing or otherwise making any official declaration of involvement, but there is supposed to be school-wide notice of the event made to teachers via the principal's email briefing.
Also, it's important to keep in mind that FCPS and Hayfield policies are not changed just because you're participating in this demonstration. If a teacher, principal, or other FCPS employee demands a verbal response, you are required to respond or face disciplinary actions-- But, keep in mind that many people will respect your desire to remain silent if you make it clear that your intent is not simply be defiant.
So, when we go to school tomorrow, may we be strong, may we be brave, may we be resilient, and may we remain united in our cause.
President, Hayfield GSA
P.S. I had an additional 420 speaking cards printed this evening, so if you need some tomorrow and didn't request them in the beginning, they're available on a first come, first served basis. Just come to me and figure a way to get the point across to me.
P.P.S. After school Wednesday, a Breaking the Silence event will be taking place: LGBT Youth Speak-Out at St. Elmo's Coffee Pub, 2300 Mount Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA. To get directions on how to get there, try Mapquest or Metro's Trip Planner, or just go with me-- Email me for details. My email address is jon at gsa dot cc