front text: Silence is Violence
back text: I will not support a day of silencing a group that is systematically and violently spoken over// Being silent is not a protest if it is what they want from us.
Day of silence is a day to recognize the silence of many lgbtq+ students. As a queer student I am so pleased to see that so manh students sign up. Every year for day of silence my school does a poster campaign asking members of the school community why they’re silent.
Today, we are silent. We are silent for the ones who had no choice. For the ones who have been killed, for the ones who killed themselves. For the strong, brave souls who are making it alive without telling their truth. Today, the ones not silenced are silent in reflection upon their lives. Ours and the others. To the ones we have lost, the ones who are forced to stay in shame. We hold this silence for you.
This year for Day of Silence I’m doing something different.
I’m refusing to be silent.
I have spent too much time silenced by my identity. I have spent too much time bullied and left without the desire to speak. I have spent too much time silent while misgendered and mislabeled. Instead of being silent today, I’m going to be screaming and shouting. If anyone says anything homophobic or transphobic, I will be shouting. If I hear casual cissexism, I will be screaming. If I see any bullying, I will be screaming. I have spent too many days silent for anyone to notice one more. This year, I will be shouting.
Today is the Day of Silence. Thousands of students across the country are taking a vow of silence today to symbolize the silencing of LGBT youth through bullying and harassment. Instead of speaking, they carry around cards explaining that today is a day to illustrate what it’s like when thousands of people are suddenly silent. When silence is forced onto you, it’s a form of oppression; when it’s deliberate and collective, it’s a form of protest.
You all know I work at GLSEN, particularly in the department that runs this campaign, so today is near and dear to me. When I was in high school, I was mostly closeted, there was no gay-straight alliance or openly queer teacher, and while I knew what the Day of Silence was, I was terrified to participate. Today, there are schools where literally hundreds of students – and even teachers – take a vow of silence for the day, and they explain to everyone ahead of time that they’re doing it specifically to get people thinking about homophobia and transphobia in schools. I wish this had been a resource for me in high school, but I’m so proud to help the students who own it today.
To add your name to the list of activists participating, sign up here.