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?