Last year, I wrote an article about my experience participating in the Day of Silence, which is a day of self-afflicted silence to raise awareness to the unheard voices of LGBT bullying in schools. I have been participating since 8th grade when I first heard about it and what a great cause it represents.
The Day of Silence definitely is a huge challenge for me because I am the person in the room who is always talking. I had many friends tell me walking to class was weird because I didn’t start a conversation. I could talk to anyone about anything, anytime; however on the Day of Silence I couldn’t.
Really friendly and personable students that participate in the Day of Silence are a huge, important part towards the cause. People like me who are always talking have to step back and bring into perspective what the true issue, and the people who always expect them to talk are constantly reminded of what the cause is — bullying.
People don’t realize how many voices are hushed on a day to day basis until the “big” voices are gone.
The Day of Silence proved to be a challenge not just because I am an extremely chatty person, but because not talking is absolutely mind shattering. Keeping all my thoughts in all day made me go crazy because I felt left out of all conversations whatsoever.
It really forced me into the shoes of a student who is afraid to talk due to the fear of being picked on or pushed around. It sucked. It really sucked and no one deserves to feel shut down like that.
Participating in the Day of Silence is personally important because some of my best friends are gay and it’s a way to represent how I stand up for them when they’re having trouble. I may not be gay, but it doesn’t mean I can’t stand up for anti-LGBT bullying.
That’s probably the hardest concept for people to grasp. You don’t have to “be” something to stand up for it. I’m not an animal, but I stand up against animal abuse. I’m not gay, but I stand up against LGBT bullying and harassment.
Although participating in the Day of Silence was relatively miserable for someone who talks as much as I do, I think it’s an incredibly important day for people to truly learn who supports those unheard voices that are suppressed by bullying. Watching others that I know participate in the Day of Silence with me is relieving because my pals, peers and teachers support the same cause as I do.
LGBT bullying is thankfully not as prevalent at Leesville as it may be at other places in the United States or even in other high schools in North Carolina, but I think if enough people paid attention to how real this problem is in other places, it would be brought to light as the global issue that it truly is.