Browsing Day of Silence
Why silence? Aren’t we trying to fight against silence?
A silent demonstration can be a peaceful way to bring urgent attention to an important issue. Silence as a method of organizing is much different than silence that is coerced or forced through oppressive bullying, harassment and intimidation. A silent demonstration is active, rather than passive, and causes people to pay attention. Silent demonstrations can:
- Bring attention to an issue and encourage reflection on the issue;
- Simulate the how others are silenced;
- Focus the attention on the issue or cause and not the protester;
- Demonstrate that the demonstrators desire peaceful resolution;
- Spark discussion and dialogue.
Through your active silence on the Day of Silence you will send a message that bullying and harassment faced by LGBT and ally youth affects you, your school and community. And remember, the Day of Silence is a moment to open the conversation on this issue. Follow up your participation with a Breaking the Silence event. You can plan a rally at your school, facilitate a workshop for students and teachers about LGBT issues or throw a party with your GSA or host a discussion group with DOS participants. For more info on how to organize a Breaking the Silence event, check out the Breaking the Silence info sheet.
On the Day of Silence starting at 3 PM EST we'll be hosting a Tweet Chat LIVE! Come and share your experiences with Day of Silence organizers from across the country. Also, a crew of GLSEN staff members will be available to answer your questions.
Participation is easy!
- Click here to join the #DayofSilence Tweet Chat room.
- Make sure to click "Sign in with Twitter" in the upper right corner.
- Enter your Twitter login info.
- Join the conversation!
We're excited to hear all of your Day of Silence stories!
My name is Carly, I'm a student ambassador for GLSEN, and an 8th grader in Arizona.
Since my mom is an ally, I've been an ally for basically as long as I can remember. In fact, I don't think I could imagine that not being a part of my life. And for as long as I've been an ally, the question I've been asked the most has always been “Why?” “Why do you care so much about gay people if you're straight yourself?”
Well, there are several answers to that question. First of all, I believe a lack of acceptance and an attitude of intolerance is one of the biggest issues our society faces, and one that has been the root cause of some of the most tragic events in history. In this case, anti-LGBT bullying, homophobia, and heterosexism in schools have caused tragedies. It has caused the tragedy of talented, bright kids not achieving the success they could be in school or even dropping out because they are too afraid of being harassed to focus on academic success. It has caused hundreds of teens to suffer from anxiety or depression every year. In short, anti-LGBT bullying is a common and extremely serious problem. And I don't want to just sit by and watch it wreck a ton of amazing young people's lives. That's probably the biggest part of why I'm an ally—I think it's just the right thing to do.
Besides that, I strongly believe that anti-LGBT bullying does not only negatively impact the LGBT community, but also an environment in which no once can feel comfortable being who they are and expressing themselves, for fear of being judged, labeled, bullied, or harassed. These kind of hostile surroundings, where everyone is more worried about not becoming a victim then they are about doing well in school or life, is not conducive to a healthy learning environment or a healthy person. As an ally, it is my hope that one day, everyone will be able to go to school and just be themselves and focus on being the best they can be. I want to wake up in a world where people are free from gender stereotypes that stifle their ability to lead the life they want to.
Ultimately, I believe the quote that “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor” is true, and I don't want to take the side of bullying. Allies are in a position to “be the change,” as GLSEN says. They have the opportunity to break down the walls between LGBT students and their straight peers that often lead to a feeling of isolation for the LGBT students. To be a voice for people who are in the closet and can't speak up for themselves, be a supporter for people who are coming out or need somebody to talk to, and fight along side all the wonderful LGBT youth who have worked to achieve safer and more inclusive schools.
Being an ally is something I would encourage everyone to do, because although you may face some challenges, I have had so many great experiences and met so many amazing people because of being an ally. And at the end of the day, I feel really proud to be a part of a movement that involves people of all different sexual orientations and gender identities, joined together for a great cause.
We've been getting lots of questions about using social media on the Day of Silence. Ultimately, it's up to your if you want to engage in social media or not on the Day of Silence! However, we think that using social media is a great way to stay connected and stand in solidarity with other Day of Silence organizers around the country. Social media is also a tool you can use to ask GLSEN for support if you are having trouble with your Day of Silence plans. If you do want to use social media, here are some ways to stay connected!
Change your cover photo and profile picture to show your participation in the event! Also "like" the Day of Silence on facebook, and feel free to post about your day with other participants!
Send your tweets to #DayofSilence and follow us @DayofSilence
Tag your photos #DayofSilence
We are looking forward to hearing from you leading up to the Day of Silence and on the Day! Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions. Don't forget to order your Day of Silence gear by 4/13/12! And register your Day of Silence event here. Happy organizing, Juliann DiNicola GLSEN Community Initiatives
We got so many amazing submissions to the "What Does the Day of Silence Mean to You?" contest. Thank you all who submitted an entry to us! Your bravery, resilience, and determination is inspiring. Thank you all for making the Day of Silence such a tremendous event. Your voices are being heard. We are proud to announce the videos and written submissions that will be featured on the GLSEN Blog! Check back daily until the Day of Silence (4/20) to see the submissions!
-Alexander P. from San Diego, CA
-Amanda L. from Syosset, NY
-Arial P. from Hendersonville, TN
-Rachel S. from Tucson, AZ
-Ilana K. from Rockville, MD
-Kristin J. from Silverdale, WA
Honorable Mentions (Video)
-Jackson G. from Gulfport, MS
-Alexander H. from Christmas, FL
Honorable Mentions (Written)
-Katie B. from Lebanon, IL
-Zachary C. from Pendleton, SC
-Teresa D. from Elmwood Park, IL
-Neal R. from Dauphin, PA
Congratulations to the featured submissions! We are so thankful that you took the time to share you stories with us. Remember to visit the GLSEN Blog daily to watch and read the entries! Also, today is the last day of order your Day of Silence merchandise. Make sure you order your materials in time!
Check out one of the featured videos from the "What Does the Day of Silence Mean to You?" call for submissions. This video was submitted by Alexander P. of San Diego, CA. Here is what Alexander had to say about his video:
Why I myself am not a member of the LGBT community, I am friends with a lot of people who are. Many of these people are my closest friends and are dear to me. It would hurt me to see them be insulted in ways I've never really been attacked and pressured into the silence the Day of Silence tries to make others aware of. As a student filmmaker, I decided to pick up my camera and share the words of my fellow GSA club members to help bring awareness to the issues of harassment to LGBT youth. Always being a bit "different", I've tended to make the short films and music I create to be a little off and a bit odd. I've always thought weirdness is a virtue. Some people see me as being weird for trying to be nicer to people. But being under the label of LGBT doesn't really make you different, in my opinion it's how you treat people and the world around you that does.
"The Day of Silence- 2012 (A Message from CCA GSA)"
Thanks, Alexander and the CCA GSA! What an awesome video!
Check out the first of the featured videos from the “What Does the Day of Silence Mean to You?” call for submissions. This video was submitted by Arial P. of Hendersonville, TN.
"I love standing up for what is right and helping others." -Arial
"Day of Silence 2012."
Thanks, Arial! What an inspiring message!
Check out another featured essay from the “What Does the Day of Silence Mean to You?” call for submissions. This essay was submitted by Kristin J. of Silverdale, WA.
What Day of Silence Means to Me
Day of Silence to me is a day where I don’t talk. It’s a day where I can look back at all the times I haven’t been able to speak up, talk out, and express myself. It’s a day where myself and hundreds of other kids can show other people who haven’t been in our footsteps that yes, there are kids out there who can’t speak up. That there are kids out here that harm themselves because they have to keep everything bundled up inside. This day gives me a reason to go to school, gives me the chance to be with hundreds of other teens and even adults trying to change the world for better. I know how it feels to have to sit back and keep everything in and not be able to tell people what’s on my mind because of the way society is. I don’t want to get judged for what I believe in; I just want to be able to go on with my day knowing I am who I am. But it’s not easy if I’m the only one who knows who I am. This day shows people that we are silent for a reason. Awesome, Kristin! Thanks for sharing your story! Check back tomorrow for more featured submissions! Don't forget to register your Day of Silence event as well! *Please note, the views expressed in the submission are those of the author, and are not necessarily shared by GLSEN.
Check out another featured poem from the “What Does the Day of Silence Mean to You?” call for submissions. This poem was submitted by Rachel S. from Tucson, AZ.
My lips are sealed shut I will not speak a word on This Day of Silence. This is a day to Listen; this is a day to Think; what do you hear? Do you hear the slurs, The insults of a bully Who picks on the weak? Or maybe you hear Crying – the near-silent tears Of one who is hurt. So many people; Their calls for help swallowed up By our own voices. So today, do not Speak. Listen instead, and see What you now can hear. Thanks for sharing your amazing poem with us, Rachel! Don't forget to register your Day of Silence event here! *Please note, the views expressed in this submission are of the author, and are not necessarily shared by GLSEN.
A Safe Space Kit Fundraiser
Facilitate a discussion after Day of Silence; invite middle and high school DOS participants to meet for an discussion about their experiences on DOS. Provide snack and light refreshments to keep it casual. Thanks for working hard to support K-12 students! Happy organizing!