7

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.

2

In United States schools, eight in ten lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students report being verbally harassed because of their sexual orientation, and nearly two-thirds were harassed because of their gender expression. 

That’s why GLSEN supports the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act—two bills that work together to ensure schools nationwide are free of bullying, harassment, and discrimination.

You can make a difference. Click here to send a message to your representative in Washington calling on them to support SSIA and SNDA. Your voice is important and you can be part of making schools safer for LGBT students. We need your help!

3

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

Created in 1996 by Maria Pulzetti at the University of Virginia, Day of Silence is an annual day of action against bullying and harassment towards LGBTQ+ students and their supporters. Since 2000, Day of Silence is organized by GLSEN (American Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network).

Every year, thousands of students across America are participating in the event in middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities. This year, Day of Silence will be held on April 17, and TMHFN/Rainbow Direction encourages all its supporter to take a day-long vow of silence as a symbol of all the LGBTQ+ students and supporters who are silenced.

As complete silence might be impossible for many reasons (work, school, family), we invite you to stay silent on your social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc) and/or set this graphic as your profile picture today.

Thank you all for your participation!

“There are times when silence has the loudest voice.”

Leroy Brownlow

9

If you are reading this you are now apart of the movement. The day of silence is this Friday, April 17th 2015.

Please stay silent and strong on this day.

GLSENs Day of Silence is a national day of action in which students across the country vow to take a form of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools.                                                                                                                        History                                                                                                                                              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.                                                                                                                        Organizing for Day of Silence                                                                                                                                              Organizing a Day of Silence (DOS) activity or event can be a positive tool for change-both personally and community-wide. By taking a vow of silence, you’re making a powerful statement about the important issue of anti-LGBT bullying, and when you organize others to join you that message becomes stronger. Discover ways of organizing your event here.

Source: http://www.dayofsilence.org/resources/

3

When do you step up? When do you step back?

Coinciding with Asexual Awareness Week this year is Ally Week. Before you yell at me, check out GLSEN’s brand spanking new Ally Week campaign which  – spoiler alert – I helped create. This week isn’t about holding allies above LGBTQ people or suggesting that you deserve a cookie just for being a good person. Here’s what it’s about:

  • Encouraging non-LGBTQ people to be allies – because we need as many of them as we can get. 
  • Encouraging LGBTQ people to be allies for one another and for other marginalized groups. (For example, teaching privileged queer people how to pay attention to the issues of less-privileged queer people.)
  • Learning about how to be better allies, even if you already think you know all about it. (Hence the “What do you know? What can you learn?” message.)
  • Learning what an ally’s place in the movement should be. (Hence the “When do you step up? When do you step back?” message.)

Being an ally is more than slapping a rainbow sticker on your laptop and saying you have gay friends. That’s why GLSEN is challenging people everywhere to think about what makes you an ally, and how we can all be better ones. (via GLSEN)

anonymous asked:

My school is doing day of silence tomorrow, and I've never done it before. Do you have any tips?

well first of all good luck and congrats to your school for supporting it!!!

here are my tips:

  • stay level headed: its to bring awareness for an important cause but not everyone will understand that. there will be people who taunt and try to get you to speak, itll be hard but just ignore them in a way that’s easier for you (leaving the scene, putting in headphones etc..) and just keep in mind that you’re doing this because it means something to you and them taunting you gives you proof that the day is needed 
  • talk as much and as loud as you want the day before/after: if you’re like me and have a major motor mouth you know itll be tricky to stay silent talk the day before and after, i use my loud mouth to an advantage with this because its more noticeable when im silent so people pay attention to the cause! having the badges printed out help a lot to the people participating and the teachers in figuring out who is doing it.
  • keep yourself distracted: take this time to distract yourself with school work. it can be an already assigned paper or you can go ask for extra work from your teacher, most will be understanding and give you some extra assignments. you can also bring a nice book to read all day!  
  • inform as many people as you can beforehand: at my school i was given permission to set up a table at lunch and inform the students and teachers of the day! i had papers filled with information put in every teachers’ mailbox so that even if they didn’t see the table they knew what the students were participating in so it wasn’t a surprise. it defiantly helps to take the extra time to inform the teachers of the day because a lot of them at my school have planned silent work or a movie for the day which defiantly helps! 
  • remember that talking doesn't mean you've failed: its a little harder to do this if you talk a lot, if you slip up do not think you’ve failed! what i do if i slip up is i will tell people, “today im supposed to be silent to bring attention to lgbt+ harassment in schools, i have had a slip but im using that to my advantage to bring MORE awareness to this day, i will be going back to being silent thank you for listening”
  • be prepared: again, you know the cause and its important as hell especially in high schools to bring awareness to this. if you’re like me and you’ve spent two months planning the day you’re pretty prepared, but even if you just found out the day before just wake up the next morning ready to be silent and bring awareness!

you’re doing this for an extremely important cause, just keep that in mind and you’ll be fine!! good luck <3

(source)

GLSEN Day of Silence
Please understand my reasons for not speaking today.  I am participating in the day of silence, a national youth movement bringing attention to the silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies.  My deliberate silence echoes that silence, which is caused by anti-LGBT bullying, name calling, and harassment.  I believe that ending the silence is the first step toward building awareness and making a commitment to address these injustices.  

Think about the voices you are not hearing today.

I hate the new liberal/ally push to downplay someone’s coming out (“They said ‘I’m gay’ and I said 'cool, wanna play cod?’”)

Put yourself in their shoes. They just shared a huge part of their identity with you, a part that is marginalized and oppressed. They know that sharing that information with just anyone is extremely dangerous, but they trust you enough to let you know. There could be a million things running through their heads. They might be scared. They might want to feel relief. They might feel joyous. Either way, it is a huge event to them. It is important. Don’t play it off, fucking listen and acknowledge it like you would any other important news.

You’re not a better friend or supporter for trying to downplay something like that. It actually just makes you an asshole.

The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) is launching a campaign called #SpotTheSticker to bring attention to its Safe Space stickers and posters, which teachers can hang up at school to demonstrate that they support LGBT students. If you’ve seen a Safe Space sticker around your school, take a picture of it and share it with GLSEN to show teachers why they should help create safe and affirming spaces for all students. Woohoo! (via GLSEN)