The expression that silence speaks louder than words has never been more true than it is today. Why is that? Well, today is Day of Silence. I will have to admit that I had never heard of Day of Silence until earlier this month when I was looking for different holidays to potentially write about this month. I assumed what the day was but I didn’t really know, so I looked it up and I’m glad that I did.
Day of Silence is defined as a “student-led demonstration where LGBTQ students and allies take a vow of silence to protest the harmful effects of harassment and discrimination of LGBTQ people in schools” (source). After going through an entire day of not speaking, the day ends with rallies and people are able to share their experience. Day of Silence started in the ’90s and happens every April, so it’s surprising that I don’t hear about it…or hear about it often.
As an ally of the community and a friend to some people who are in the community, I understand how important it is to listen and make sure the community is heard. There are so many stories and tragedies of people in the LGBTQ community who have been harassed in schools and it’s ended up to a point where they just could not take it anymore. I’ve been bullied throughout my entire life in school and I can’t even imagine how much worse it could’ve been if I was also part of the LGBTQ community. There are so many people who never get a chance to have their voices heard or are scared to share what they’ve been through. It’s time for their voices to be heard and it’s time for schools to do a better job at handling these situations.
If you would like to participate in Day of Silence and join the virtual Breaking The Silence rally, you can find out how to do so by checking out GLSEN. They also have tons of information and an option to donate as well.
Have you been harassed or know someone who has been harassed in school for being in the LGBTQ community? How do you think schools should better handle these situations?