One more thing I never thought I’d say

Today the Kid is silent.

That’s saying a lot for someone who is more of a verbal processor than I am. But last night, before heading off to bed, the FPK was stacking up the things they needed for school the next day: Backpack, bass guitar, keys, shades and a roll of duct tape.
Yep… duct tape. Because April 16 marks the National Day of Silence and he plans to be a part.
It’s going to take duct tape to keep that kid from talking… it always has. And yet, I suppose that even one with logorrhia like theirs can make it for a day, when the cause is this great.
One day each year, the LGBTQ community and straight allies take a day to protest the bullying that takes place on school campuses. My kiddo has endured some of that… and I suspect that is part of what sent caused the bout of depression earlier this year. I know that it is part of what made us suggest keeping a lower profile about questioning and then finally coming out as gay. We wanted our child to be safe. As safe as any kid can be at a school that serves twice the number of students it was built for (a rant for another day).
We live in the southern part of the country, and while the city parts of Central Florida are more like the Big Apple than Old Dixie, our school serves some rural areas where the confederate flag still flies. We also boast a sizable Latino population and a significant number of big E evangelical Christians. That combination meant that it took several years for a GSA to come into being, and its numbers are very small when compared to what you’d expect on a campus that size.
It’s a scary place for freshmen, unless you’re in the right crowd. Or big. Our kid is neither. But we’ve got a smart one, and doggone if they didn’t grow up just the way we’d hoped: willing to take a stand for what is right. Even if it’s not popular. Even if it’s not really safe.
If my job didn’t require me to talk (answering the phone is non-negotiable), I’d stay silent, too. Since I can’t wear the duct tape, I’ll speak out today. I’ll come out today, and wear a Day of Silence photo on my blog, an avatar on Twitter, and post some info on Facebook.
No one deserves to be bullied. Ever.

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