The “Day of Dialogue,” once dubbed “Day of Truth” by the Alliance Defense Fund before being handed off to Exodus International, is coming up this April. Now headed by anti-gay socially conservative powerhouse Focus on the Family, this year the DOD will happen the day before the gay-supportive, anti-bullying “Day of Silence.” The DOD (then DOT) was founded to oppose the DOS, and has for the past few years been held a day or so after the DOS.
As the body count from the suicides of bullied kids continues to mount, it becomes increasingly counter-productive for socially conservative pundits to openly rail against anti-bullying initiatives as “Trojan Horses for the homosexual agenda.” Events like the DOD help to create a false veneer of progressive lovingkindness, when actually it is the same unloving clap-trap organizations like Focus on the Family have pushed for decades. FOTF (and before them, Exodus International) have claimed to only want to have “open dialog” – that is, a conversation with kids about sexuality – but the end goal is the same: get kids to hate themselves and their sexual orientation so much that they’ll waste time in “ex-gay” programs.
The DOD resources don’t do anything to push actual dialog – which implies a 2-way conversation. Instead, the goal is to push one point of view on a fragile, marginalized segment of the student body. This happens to be a rigid, fundamentalist Christian point of view regarding God and the Bible, and especially sexuality. It also enforces the false dichotomy of Religion Vs. Sexual Honesty.
Choosing a name like “Day of Dialogue” is a clever PR ploy. It makes those who oppose it look like they are opposing open dialogue, and are therefor trying to oppress or shut out valid points of view. But the two days engage kids in completely different ways: The DOS creates a deafening silence, akin to the silence LGBT kids must live in every day in order to, at least partly, avoid torment from greater society. It invites non-Queer kids to see what it’s like to live in a “closet.” Rather than try to force a point of view on anyone, the DOS seeks to create a tangible experience easily understood by all. The DOD pushes the same marginalizing, deadly rhetoric gay kids already face every day – but with a different spin. Consider it a candy-coated poison apple.
One thing that works to our advantage is that the DOS falls AFTER the DOD this year – or, as Jeremy Hooper puts it, “the rainbow will follow the rain.”