April 20th is GLSEN’s DAY of SILENCE
What is the Day of Silence?
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.
Why do we need a Day of Silence?
GLSEN’s 2009 National School Climate Survey found that nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT students report verbal, sexual or physical harassment at school and more than 30% report missing at least a day of school in the past month out of fear for their personal safety. Moreover, two of the top three reasons students said their peers were most often bullied at school were actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender expression, according to From Teasing to Torment: School Climate in America, a 2005 report by GLSEN and Harris Interactive. Thus, the Day of Silence helps bring us closer to making anti-LGBT bullying, harassment and name-calling unacceptable in America’s schools.
“Well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech.” — Martin Fraquhar Tupper
“Silence remains, inescapably, a form of speech.” — Susan Sontag
Every year, countless numbers of LGBT youth are harassed, threatened, beaten, bullied, or killed because of who they are. The silence they must endure is heartbreaking, as victims of LGBT bullying, name-calling, and violence are less likely to report it to the proper authorities.
Despite all of the hatred, bigotry, and violence, every year, thousands of students, educators, parents, and other allies take a stand against intolerance in a single act of solidarity: silence. The Day of Silence (www.dayofsilence.org), however, seeks to turn that silence into power as people all around the country vow to stay silent throughout the day in order to show their support for their LGBT peers and to stand up against the silence their peers face.
I know the site mentions students, up to college, but I would challenge you, no matter what you do today, to show your support by joining in the silence to end silence because the everyone is a victim if no one speaks out.
What Does the Day of Silence Mean to You?
For me it’s a way to loudly show my support of positive GLBT activities, people, organizations and to show my contempt for all hate. We lose too many good, loving people to hate, either through violence and murder or through suicide. In both cases it’s the fault and direct result of hate and bullying, crimes that too often are ignored.
Share what the Day of Silence means to you below or at http://www.dayofsilence.org/giveaway/! Make sure to use #DayofSilence on your tweets so everyone can see what’s in your heart, if not in your voice.
Want to Show Your Support?