Tomorrow is National Day of SilenceTomorrow is the National Day of Silence, a day where gay students and their allies are encouraged to remain silent to protest harassment and discrimination of GLBT students around the country.
I was not out during high school or college (and really hadn't heard of this day until mid-way through college), so I never participated. But, I think it is an interesting way to constructively protest the treatment of gays in our society.
Personally, I think that anyone that believes that anti-gay bullying and harassment is not an issue at all is either completely being misled or lying to themselves.
Apparently the Alliance Defense Fund doesn't think bullying is a problem, though. So on Thursday they are having their Day of Truth. If they want a "Day of Truth," that's fine, but I think it is an intentional insult to the gay students to schedule their Day of Truth the day after the Day of Silence.
That, and I don't see a whole lot of truth coming from this day. For one, the poster boy for the Day of Truth (who I have mentioned on this blog before) gained notoriety with the far-right religious groups for wearing a shirt at school that said, "Homosexuality is Shameful." Since the ADF's goal with the Day of Truth is to speak the truth in love, I'm surprised they would use this kid. Since when is using a phrase like that loving? I guess they have a different definition of what it means to speak from love.
More "Truth" from their website discusses how change is possible, while never mentioning that the struggle might be lifelong, difficult and never achievable for most participants. And it never mentions that every major medical, psyhological, psychiatric, etc. organization in the country believe that change of attraction is not possible. It also goes on to quote the usual anti-gay stats. The FAQ is provided by our good friends at Exodus. Tell me again how it is loving to use highly suspect statistics and studies showing how terrible gay people are.
Here's the deal. I'm gay, and I am not promiscuous. The study on that FAQ claims that just 2.7% of older gay men had sex with only one partner (I wonder how many had sex with zero partners). But, this study doesn't mean much to me since I'm in that 2.7%. The same study claims that 47% of the men had sex with over 500 partners. I'm thinking this is a Cameronesque study (that I'll try to look into when I have time), but again, I'm not in that 47%, so what does that mean to me? Nothing. And, I'm unimpressed by any person or group that tries to use statistics like that to tell me why I shouldn't be gay. If I'm not one of those promiscuous people, I'm not going to respond like that, period.
Pardon the comparison, but this is like telling a black person that he is immoral because as a group blacks are far more likely to be incarcarated, use illegal drugs, live in poverty, etc. than any other racial minority in the country. It makes no sense, but they realize that my personal morality is not something that can be challenged. Who I am attracted to and love is not a matter of morality, so they have to demonize the group as a whole to shock people into their own support.
Let me end by saying that I would be quick to educate any Day of Truth participant that came my way, in a loving way, of course.
Here is the study (A Comparative Demographic and Sexual Profile of Older Homosexually Active Men, by Paul Van de Den, et al) cited by Exodus and The Day of Truth and mentioned above.
The study used over 2500 volunteers in Australia recruited from the following places, "sections of the organised gay community (radio, venues, gyms, businesses, publications); places of sexual contact within, outside, and marginal to organised gay communities (gay brothels, sex shops, beats, saunas); health centres frequented by gay men; and pornography outlets." So, outside of gay oriented businesses, they then went to sex shops, brothels, saunas, health centers (i.e. attracting men that have health--mostly STD concerns), etc.
Too bad people are claiming that this study can be extrapolated to all gay men. If they studies straight people at these places, I'd expect them to also find much higher promiscuity rates. Too bad Exodus couldn't be up front about that. Day of Truth indeed.