Tomorrow is the Day of Silence. It is an annual day of action started by GLSEN in which students and teachers at schools across the country plan protests, events and take a day-long vow of silence to represent the bullying and silencing of LGBTQ youth.
Obviously the necessity of a day like this personally resonates with me, as someone who stayed closeted and afraid all through highschool. With the recent suicides of several gay youth, all stemming from situations of bullying and harassment, it would seem like any reasonable human being could understand this issue. Right?
I mean, it would take quite a bigoted, ignorant asshat to go out of their way to condemn or pick on a group of people working towards acceptance and safer schools for all students, wouldn’t it?
Well here he is, meet Rhode Island State Rep. Dan Gordon.
Here’s the short version of what happened. A senior at Tiverton High School started the school’s very first Gay-Straight Alliance. The local Patch website ran a great little story about her and the new group. I read it and was really proud and excited for the students. I thought about how grateful I would have been to have that when I was in high school. I thought about what a difference this would probably make in the lives of youth in this community.
Well. Representative Gordon had some other thoughts. This one he posted in the comments on the blog:
“And this is why if I have anything to say about it, Tiverton will lose school funding to local charter schools. It doesn’t matter if gay or straight, if sexual meet-up groups are being promoted in our schools rather than improving test scores, that school is failing. Is it really more important for our children to get ‘sexed-up’, than learning advanced math?”
Since then he’s gone on local public radio to insist he’s not homophobic and defend himself. And it got worse, with him remarking that if students weren’t flaunting their sexuality, perhaps they wouldn’t be getting bullied.
I wonder if the words “ignorant gaybashing fuck” happened to get spraypainted onto Rep. Dan Gordon’s home, the perpetrator could use the excuse “Well.. if he wasn’t flaunting his homophobia, perhaps he wouldn’t have gotten singled out.” (not likely. and I don’t plan to find out!)
But continue to flaunt, he does. This dude is proud of picking on a group of students!!!
And today, I visited the Patch site to see that he had sent in this gem:
I mean… I don’t know what I’m more shocked about, that he’s still trying to talk his way out of this after everything he’s said or that anyone can still type with their head that far up their own ass.
So Mr. Gordon, if you can read this, here is your homework assignment for the Day of Silence and I will borrow a phrase that my darling partner likes to say -
Shut up and stop missing the point!
If you want to tell this elected official your thoughts on his behavior, here is all his contact info:
Providence, RI 02903
Fax: (401) 222-6142
35 Alan Ave
Portsmouth, Rhode Island 02871
Phone: (401) 222-2259
If you are a student, teacher or youth-organizer taking part in an action tomorrow, I salute you and hope you have a very successful and empowering day tomorrow!
If you are not taking part in the Day of Silence, but you want to show your support for those who are, please speak out and spread the word that it’s happening. I will be tweeting tomorrow about it with the hashtag #dayofsilence and tumblring stories about it all day.