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My Own Homo Ribbon

April 26, 2006

“HOMOSEXUALITY IS SIN” read the banner. Three young men were holding it up on Wisconsin Avenue right outside my office. Hey, it’s a free country. If you want to believe that some supernatural omniscient being disapproves of your neighbor, fine by me. But I noticed one of the banner holders was speaking to a passing student. I heard the word “homosexuality,” but the student himself didn’t pause and didn’t say a word in reply.

After the student had passed I asked the banner guy: “what were you saying to that kid?”

“I said we don’t believe gay people are truly happy.”

“I see,” I said – although I most assuredly didn’t. “And why were you saying it to him in particular?”

“Because he had on a ‘Day of Silence’ t-shirt. You know what that is?”

I did. My daughter told me about it. It’s this thing where young people take pledges of silence to draw attention to the plight of gay people who so often have to live in silence themselves, hiding their identity. It’s non-confrontational and yet serves as a poignant reminder of how some Americans are forced to live.

“And besides,” the banner holder continued; “he had a ‘homo ribbon’ on.”

“Really. Well excuse me,” I said. “I have to go get my own ‘homo ribbon’.”

So here it is.

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