It’s said that silence is golden, but is it also powerful? Does silence have the power to unite communities? To build and strengthen relationships? To fight for those without a voice? Thousands of students and teachers around this country think so, and I’m one of them. Are you?
Every day, young people are bullied and harassed, even threatened or physically assaulted simply for who they are and who they love. Schools, which were once safe havens, hold dark secrets and an endless amount of tears cried by those who are victims in the seemingly endless war against LGBT bullying. The Day of Silence, sponsored by GLSEN, aims to show young gay and lesbian students that they have the support of their friends, teachers, and fellow students. By standing together in silence, participants show those around them that bullying and harassment is never acceptable. It’s also a powerful way to stand with those who no longer have a voice, those who have been silenced for years in fear, violence, or self-harm.
This year, the Day of Silence falls on Friday, April 19th. For some students, this falls during April vacation, which can make it an even more powerful event. By participating and handing out a card explaining why you are remaining silent, you have the opportunity to touch the lives of all those directly affected by anti-LGBT bullying and harassment. But even more powerful is the chance to share your message of love and acceptance with all those you meet.
Whether you are a student or educator, friend or family, LGBT or ally, the Day of Silence is a powerful way to spread the message that bullying and harassment will not and should not be tolerated. I urge you to stand with me in silence on April 19th and show your support for LGBT young people.