Every year on April 19, a student-led community comes together to bring attention to anti-LGBT bullying on the Day of Silence. Students across the United States close their mouths and open their hearts to the effort of stomping out the harsh words and teasing of anti-LGBT bullying.
Since 8th grade, I have participated in the Day of Silence. I think the Day of Silence creates an alliance between all students who support the LGBT community whether they are heterosexual or not.
I like to participate in Day of Silence because I feel like a shield to those who are bullied. If kids who are being bullied or who are in the closet know that I am on their side. They know they have support from someone in their classes and in their community.
This year I was really glad that Leesville’s GSA decided to do the Day of Silence as a group. Typically, I find only myself participating; this year, I was really happy to know my fellow club members were taking on the same challenge
Participating in the Day of Silence isn’t easy. I’ve slipped up many times, but I continue to stick with it for what it stands for.
It’s hard trying to stay silent all day, but that’s part of the challenge. The challenge of the Day of Silence is like the challenge of being an ally; it’s hard being a supporter of the LGBT community. We are mocked. Our sexuality is questioned. People try to pull us down along with those who are bullied.
In my first period, kids mocked me for doing the Day of Silence; I started coughing, and they jokingly called me out for talking and making noise. Everyday, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students go through the same mocking that I go through for supporting LGBT students on the Day of Silence.
Every year, I wear a note around my neck that reads “Ask me why I’m not talking today.” I want students to ask me why I’m being quiet. I want to spread the word about anti-LGBT bullying. I want people to be aware and learn about how many people are affected. According GLSEN’s 2009 National School Climate Survey “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,”.
No one should be afraid of coming to school, and the Day of Silence is a baby step on the way to cease the bullying.