Today was a Day of Silence at schools across the country.  According to dayofsilence.org, “On the National Day of Silence hundreds of thousands of students nationwide take a vow of silence to bring attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in their schools.”

Earlier in the week, a high school student at my church invited me via Facebook to join in the day of silence.  I wondered how I could do it.  I knew my day would include an appointment when I would be interacting with someone and some shopping.  Of course, the phone would ring and I would have phone calls to make.

I thought, too, about what it was like for me 35 years ago to be a teen who was struggling to accept my sexual orientation and the fear I had about being found out.  Fear forced me to be silent.  35 years ago, that fear may have been well founded.  I’m certain there are schools where it is still well founded.

Earlier on my blog, I’ve written about the devastation of suicide and of the disproportionate numbers of lgbt kids (and kids thought to be lgbt) who use this permanent solution to what in reality are temporary problems.  The “It Gets Better” campaign was an attempt by people now launched into adulthood to speak to teens who are struggling with fear, who are feeling like their world is a living hell.

Today, teens are doing their own work in schools across the country to make it get better now.  Holding silence for a day both brings the issue to the surface and strengthens teens, emboldens them, gives them the courage to stand up.

It does get better.  But there is so much work to do – and not just in schools.

Just this week, people were making a fuss about a J. Crew ad that included a mom and her 5-year-old son having some fun that included neon pick toe nail polish.  If you missed the story, check out Jon Stewart’s wonderful reporting and reaction at http://www.hulu.com/watch/232385/the-daily-show-with-jon-stewart-toemageddon-2011-this-little-piggy-went-to-hell.  Once again, Jon Stewart is right on target.  (Wish I could figure out how to drop videos from The Daily Show into my blog.)

Today, instead of holding silence, I’m speaking up.  Here on my blog and via Facebook and Twitter, I’m inviting you to find ways to stand up against homophobia and all forms of bullying.

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