Today is the 19th annual Day of Silence, a movement organized by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network where youths take a vow of silence "to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools."
The Day of Silence is a student-led national event that brings attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools. Students from middle school to college take a vow of silence in an effort to encourage schools and classmates to address the problem of anti-LGBT behavior by illustrating the silencing effect of bullying and harassment on LGBT students and those perceived to be LGBT.
In that silence, listen: To any of these videos, only a small selection of queer-centric music, speeches and other videos on the Internet. There's a bit of everything here: Coming-out stories, stories of acceptance, gender identity, gay rights, and above all, love. For the LGBT kids, to know you're not alone, and for the bullies, to learn.
1. Jacob Rudolph Comes Out While Accepting an Award for Class Actor:
"Sure, I've been in a few plays and musicals, but more importantly I've been acting every single day of my life. You see, I've been acting as someone I'm not...You see me acting the part of straight Jacob, when I am in fact an LGBT teen." — Jacob
2. LZ Granderson's "The Myth of the Gay Agenda" TED Talk:
3. Ellen Page Comes Out at the HRC's Time to Thrive Conference:
"This world would be a whole lot better if we just made an effort to be less horrible to one another." — Ellen
4. Kids React to Gay Marriage:
5. Zach Wahls Speaks Before the Iowa House of Representatives:
A song showing the love he has for his two moms.
6. Sally Field Receives HRC's Ally for Equality Award:
And a mom showing the love she has for her gay son.
7. The GBF: What's Wrong with the Commodification of Gay Men:
8. "She Keeps Me Warm," by Mary Lambert
The song became famous as the chorus of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Same Love," but it's Mary's version, that finds her falling in love with another girl, that makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
9. How Watermelon Can Explain Gender Identity:
"You guys be like, ‘I don't understand. If you love women so much, how come you don't dress like one?'" — HARTBEAT
10. "It Could Happen to You," the Viral Video That Became Bridegroom:
11. Sportscaster Takes on NFL Prospect Michael Sam's Anti-Gay Haters:
12. "Forrest Gump," by Frank Ocean:
"Forrest Gump, you run my mind, boy/Running on my mind boy, Forrest Gump."
13. Ash Beckham's "Coming Out of the Closet" TED Talk:
"I'm gonna talk to you tonight about coming out of the closet. And not in the traditional sense, not just the gay closet. I think we all have closets...All a closet is, is a hard conversation." — Ash
14. Jodie Foster Accepts the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes:
"Now, apparently, I'm told that every celebrity is expected to honor the details of their private life with a press conference, a fragrance, and a prime-time reality show. But I'm not Honey Boo Boo Child." — Jodie
15. Duncan's Bar Mitzvah Speech: A Call for Freedom to Marry:
16. Shane Koyczan's "For the Bullied and Beautiful" TED Talk:
17. Senior Comes Out During High School's Martin Luther King Jr. Assembly:
18. "***Flawless," by Beyoncé
The song isn't explicitly about the LGBT movement. It's about feminism and standing up to misogyny, with a sample from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's "We Should All Be Feminists" (which you should also watch).
But Bey explains:
"What I'm really referring to, and hoping for, is human rights and equality, not just that between a woman and a man...I'm very happy if my words can ever inspire or empower someone who considers themselves an oppressed minority .We are all the same and we all want the same things: the right to be happy, to be just who we want to be and to love who we want to love."
Plus, who doesn't want to sing, "I woke up like this. I woke up like this. We flawless, tell ‘em."