The Gay Straight Transgender Alliance, or GSTA, participated in the 18th annual Day of Silence today, Friday, April 11. The Day of Silence was founded in 1996 and serves to demonstrate the silencing effect that harassment can have on LGBT+ students. Typically, students who are involved will take a vow to not speak for the day in honor of all those who fall victim to LGBT-related bullying.
Cat Runner (10, J&C) is a GSTA member who participated in the Day of Silence.
“The Day of Silence is a day to recognize and educate others about the effects of anti-LGBT+ bullying and harassment on those who are LGBT+ or thought to be LGBT+,” Runner said. “In my perspective, one of the main reasons why it’s extremely frightening to live openly as who you are is because of the harassment and bullying that comes with it. This day just shines a light on the effects and is in support of those who have decided to live openly, and those who are still figuring out what they should do.”
Most students who participated did not talk all day. Stephanie Little (9, J&C) did that and more to show support for the LGBT+ community.
“I’m participating in it by not talking, but I’m wearing my GSTA shirt and I’m gonna draw rainbows and stuff on my arms,” Little said, “and if anyone asks or talks to me, I’m going to inform them through writing about the Day of Silence and LGBT+ issues.”
Avery Coverdale (10, VA) avoided talking to anyone–even teachers–all day.
“In the Day of Silence, I will speak to absolutely no one and not break my silence for all of the school day,” Coverdale said.
Participating students were allowed to talk if a teacher asked them a question, although all Manual teachers received an email from the GSTA informing them why some students would not be talking. Coverdale brought index cards with basic responses such as “yes” and “no” to school to answer questions, along with a card explaining why she would not be talking.
“The Day of Silence means that hopefully one day, if I have kids, they can feel the freedom to be treated normally while being themselves and not worry about bullying or discrimination,” Coverdale said. “It means that I can also be proud of who I am and everyone else can, too.”