Shhhhh… Day of Silence
GLSEN, Inc., the Gay, Lesbian,& Straight Education Network, since 1996, has been holding a Day of Silence yearly. This year, its Day of Silence is on April 11. With over 8,000 schools participating, students, out of the classroom, take a vow of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools.
The Day of Silence is the largest student-led action for creating safer schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. GLSEN is responsible for supplying safe space kits as well as information on how to set up GSAs (Gay-Straight Alliances) in K-12 schools. If a school is resistant to having a Day of Silence, there is even a site to click on at http://www.dayofsilence.orgto get assistance.
Takin’ It To the Streets
For the first time, GLSEN is taking its Day of Silence to the streets. This year, over one hundred twenty-five middle, high school and college students from 34 states have been taking the message not only to schools, but out into the communities and on line that bullying is not acceptable. Since March, Street Teamers have been sharing their experiences with bullying and how the Day of Silence helped them overcome challenges that they and other LGBT students face.
Four LGBT students tell their stories, either in writing, or verbally, of how they were harassed and how the Day of Silence changed their lives. One student urges others to participate in the Day of Silence for your selves while another urges “silence for people who don’t have a voice.” To see the videos, go to http://glsen.org/article/day-silence-street-team.
Whether you are a teacher, student, parent, be an ally by participating in this day of silence that calls attention to the unfair treatment of GLBT people, you will make a GLBT person feel more accepted.
When Your Child Is Gay: What You Need To Know
For more detailed advice, see book, co-authored with a mother of a gay son and a psychiatrist, Jonathan L. Tobkes, M.D.