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avatar hear my silence (my speech at the LGBT march & rally)

I’m awfully proud that I spoke yesterday at a remembrance march & rally raising awareness about bullying and the devastating effect it has on all lives. I’m awfully proud that I spoke alongside extraordinary & brave people. I’m awfully proud that I’m using my voice to encourage & inspire others to be brave & courageous.

I don’t think anything feels better than that.
I’m sharing my speech, in hope that it encourages you.

My name is Amy Ferris, I live in Pike County and I’m here today because there is an epidemic happening in this country.
An awful horrific epidemic.
It’s happening in our homes, in our schools.
It’s ripping our hearts, and shaking our souls.
It is happening right here, in our community.
It’s called bullying.
We can no longer turn a blind eye to this.
Six teens – Billy Lucas, Asher Brown, Seth Walsh, Raymond Chase, Phoebe Prince, and Tyler Clementi – committed suicide recently. Two very close to home: in Monticello, and in New Jersey. These kids felt so unimportant, so invisible, and tremendous shame. Their personal lives were violated and exposed, their feelings trampled on, and their hearts broken. Life was too difficult, too painful, too frightening for them. They were taunted and bullied and made to feel less than on a daily basis, and so, they took their own lives – leaving behind tremendous pain and sadness and grief. Undoubtedly, without question, their families are now broken and no doubt, the cycle of hate continues.
Some of those kids were gay.
Some of those kids were straight.
But each one of them – each one of them – was bullied.
Every single day kids are bullied because they’re different: in size, in shape, in color. Every single day kids are bullied because of their choices: sexually, spiritually, creatively, emotionally. Every single day kids are bullied because of who they choose to love, and who they choose to pray to. Every single day kids are treated with horrific hate, and vile intolerance. It’s no wonder they go home, lock their bedroom doors, hang themselves, or shoot themselves. It’s no wonder. They are filled with such deep sadness, self-doubt and little, if no, self-esteem. Teachers are not hearing them, their parents are not hearing them, and many of their friends and peers are deeply and profoundly afraid to hear them, because they are afraid of being bullied themselves.
THEIR SILENCE needs to be heard.
They’re afraid to walk their own school hallways.
They walk in fear, and live in doubt. And cry themselves to sleep.
NO CHILD SHOULD EVER BE AFRAID of anyone or anything, ever.
We’re here today to tell these kids that we hear them. We hear their silence, and we will not stand back and let this continue without a fight.
The LGBT community saves lives every single day. It is a community that is unconditional, unwavering, uncompromising in its commitment to help all teens – and yes, all folks – in need of love and understanding, and to help them find their way back home safe and sound.
WE DESPERATELY NEED TO turn our community, PIKE COUNTY, into a LGBT COMMUNITY:
A LOVING, GRACIOUS, BOLD AND TOLERANT COMMUNITY.

In the words of HELEN KELLER, a women whose blindness did not impair her profound vision:
“WE MUST LOOK THE WORLD STRAIGHT IN THE EYE.”

Thank you all for COMING OUT today.

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Category: Uncategorized 8 comments »

8 Responses to “hear my silence (my speech at the LGBT march & rally)”

  1. avatar
    Hollye Dexter

    Beautiful Amy.
    Thank you for being a voice for love in a culture of fear.

    You are, as always, a brave and inspiring woman.
    Keep talking, girl. We all need to hear your voice.

    love you.

  2. avatar
    Madge Woods

    Amy, a passionate, wonderful speech. I listen as you speak.

  3. avatar
    David Lacy

    First off, thank you for speaking up.
    Second of all, thank you for writing this. This is powerful and important.

  4. avatar
    Barbara@TheMiddleAges

    Such a beautiful speech, Amy. I love “hear their silence” because it really does put the finger on why bullying so often seems to be tolerated. Not because it is, but because people are afraid to speak out against it.

    Bravo for not being silent … while still having compassion and offering inspiration for those that are.

  5. avatar
    spring Warren

    I hope your words help, Amy. I hope humans evolve into kinder people and more accepting, tolerant souls. I hope that young adulthood is only hard because one is leaving childhood behind and facing a larger future and not because the days are tainted with the misery of others forcing their own weakness and cruelty on anyone who might be an easy target.
    It’s time for gentleness and equal rights and education and understanding, and so thanks for speaking at the march and rally.

  6. avatar
    Linda tears

    Stunning! Your words are ALL our words. Thank you for saying them.

  7. avatar
    Donald K. Sanders

    I understand bullying very well. At one time I would tell dirty jokes about gays. I used to do it all the time. I didn’t know that my youngest brother was gay until he left. I haven’t seen or heard from him in over 20 years. He has never seen my youngest son and my youngest son has never seen his uncle. Jokeing is bullying and it hurts as much as a punch, maybe more. I wish I had my brother back. I love him and I miss him. Dennis, if you read this, please call me, I’m sorry.
    Donald

  8. avatar
    Donald K. Sanders

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkYu8hBrmY8


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