This post is a radical departure from the pervasive weight loss theme – but not from my expressive writing as a goal to wellness. (Future post in the wings.)
Today thousands of students across the country are participating in a “Day of Silence” to bring attention to anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender name-calling, bullying and harassment in their schools. Check out the web site to see exactly how kids and educators carry out their support for this activity.
Why I am I devoting a post to this even though I don’t have kids? Because I care. Because one year ago a 15-year old boy, Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, committed suicide after enduring constant bullying at school, including being called “gay” and a “faggot” despite the fact he did not identify as gay. Because I’m gay, and it took until the age of 27 for me to come out to myself and another 5 years to come out to my family. Because although I lead the most traditional of lives, I still lack many basic rights of straight Americans. (Thank you President Obama, who just last night ordered his health secretary to issue new rules aimed at granting hospital visiting rights to same-sex partners, which also happens to impact straight Americans without immediate family. Presidential Memo)
Because I refuse to no longer be silent.
“THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.
THEN THEY CAME for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
THEN THEY CAME for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.
THEN THEY CAME for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up.”
— Friedrich Gustav Emil Martin Niemöller, Lutheran Pastor, January 6, 1946