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Observing Day of Silence on Instagram

For more from the 19th annual National Day of Silence, browse the #dayofsilence hashtag and visit the GLSEN website.

Friday marked the 19th Annual Day of Silence, a movement in schools and universities to call attention to the issue of LGBT bullying and harassment among youth.

Organized by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), the day is marked by teens spending the day in silence as a symbol of the “silencing effect of anti-LGBT bias and behavior.” The organization estimates that hundreds of thousands of LGBT and allied students at more than 8,000 schools participated in the event this year, many wearing shirts, stickers or pins to explain their reason for silence.

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4 in 10 LGBT youth say they live in a community that’s not accepting of LGBT people.

LGBT youth are twice as likely to say that they’ve been bullied at school.

LGBT teens are three times more likely to commit teen suicide.

The number two reason that teens are bullied is because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender expression.

LGBT teens are almost six times more likely to report high levels of depression.

92% of LGBT youth say they hear negative messages about being LGBT. The top sources are school, the Internet, and their peers.

2 in 3 LGBT students reported being sexually harassed in the past year.

The average GPA for students who were frequently harassed because of their sexual orientation was half a grade lower than that of other students.

LGBT youth are five times more likely to miss school because they feel unsafe after being bullied due to their sexual orientation.

On average, an LGBT high school student will hear 26 anti-LGBT slurs per day.

More than 2 in 4 LGBT students have been physically hurt by another student because of their sexual orientation.

To raise awareness to the issues faced by LGBT students, I am refraining from talking for the entire day. Just like many students bullied because of their sexuality, I won’t speak. But my quietness is the loudest scream of all. For every confused stare, another person will learn about problems that they may not have been aware even existed; or didn’t realize they were causing. I am speaking for all the kids who weren’t heard, who were ignored.

I am ending the silence.

Today is the Day of Silence.

Today, hundreds of thousands of students across the world will take a symbolic vow of silence to support the thousands of LGBT youth who are silenced by bullying every day. 

Silence has always been a powerful tool for change. When silence is casual and individual, it easily goes unnoticed. But when it is deliberate, strategic and occurring en masse, it’s difficult to miss. One day without speaking is difficult; a lifetime of silencing by bullying is unthinkable. That difference becomes blatantly visible today. 

Whether or not you’re participating in the Day of Silence today, it’s a valuable time to reflect on how each and every one of us can help make schools — and the world — safer for LGBT people. What are you doing today to help end the silence?

Watch on thetrevorproject.tumblr.com

Today is glsen's Day of Silence! We're proud of everyone who joins us in creating safer schools for LGBT youth, like Christine, who's breaking her silence as part of National Poetry Month. Learn more about how you can continue to work toward safe schools for all!

Upcoming: National Day of Silence 2012

April 20.

For some, its a remembrance of the tragedy that took 13 lives which occurred at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado in 1999. For others, its a day dedicated to cannabis, or marijuana. But for hundreds of thousands of students across the nation, and myself, April 20 holds another meaning. On that day, those students will remain silent in support of their LGBT peers who are silenced due to harassment day after day.

That day, is the 2012 GLSEN National Day of Silence.

The National Day of Silence is a day of action in which students take some form of a vow of silence, whether it’s an hour or 24 hours, to call attention to the silencing effect that occurs day by day in schools where anti-LGBT bullying and harassment is prominent.

Founded in 1996, the Day of Silence has become the largest single student-led action towards creating safer schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. From the first-ever Day of Silence at the University of Virginia in 1996, to the organizing efforts in over 8,000 middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities across the country in 2008, its textured history reflects its diversity in both numbers and reach.

For more information, you can check out the website for the National Day of Silence, at www.dayofsilence.org. From there, you can also order gear such as t-shirts, stickers, buttons, and posters to prepare yourself for the DoS, as well as registering yourself for the date, so you’re counted.

What are YOU going to do to end the silence?

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So like! Today was the day my school decided to do the Day of Silence thing, and although I didn’t participate because I talk too much and I could never do it, I was reeeaally impressed by the amount of people doing it and I thought it was pretty cool all the support there was and even teachers were wearing shirts and stuff for it and allowing kids to participate and it was just really cool so I made this! yeah.

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