Goooood morning! The Day of Silence is finally here and we're up bright and early with you to make this year a success! This year, students in every state, the District of Columbia, and nearly 60 countries are participating in events at their school for the Day of Silence! Join us in the action! We invite you to follow our blog – blog.glsen.org – as we post student stories and messages from supporters throughout the day. Don't forget to join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #DayOfSilence and following @glsen! If you encounter any resistance to your participation in Day of Silence, go to http://dayofsilence.org/legalhelp/ to report it. If you're unsure about whether or not you'll participate in Day of Silence today, we invite you to participate in whatever way feels right for you: not talking at all, remaining silent for a portion of a day, or using your voice to raise awareness of the bullying & harassment LGBT students face. If you haven't already, please take a moment to register your participation so we can count you in our numbers! Let's make this year the biggest year yet! Together, we’ll keep working until that’s a reality!
The Day of Silence is tomorrow, April 20th, be prepared!
Being a student and an organizer can be a lot! Frequently we hear from organizers who have been planning for the Day of Silence for weeks only to find themselves unprepared on the morning of their event. So, take the time this afternoon/evening to double check your to-do list with your advisor and/or fellow organizers. Make sure you haven’t put anything off until the last minute because once you get to school you will want to be able to hit the ground running in order to make the biggest impact. Here are some things to remember as you finalize your arrangements for your Day of Silence event:
- LIST: Make a to-do list of final tasks and think of people who could take on some of those tasks for you. Get started with the items on this list!
- REGISTER: If you haven’t already, be sure to CLICK HERE to register your participation in the Day of Silence and be counted among the hundreds of thousands of other students nationwide participating in the Day of Silence.
- CONNECT: The night before your event call, email or text all of the people helping you organize to make sure everyone is on the same page. Also make sure to stay connected on social media, like facebook and Twitter!
- PRINT: Be sure you have all the materials you need, and extras to hand out, such as:Speaking Cards, Lambda Legal: Freedom to Speak (Or Not) 2012, ACLU: Letter to Principal or Educator, Stickers, and cut, fold, or label these materials as needed.
- GATHER: Get all Day of Silence items and materials in one place to ensure that they are clean and organized (shirts, buttons, stickers, pamphlets, speaking cards, posters, etc.)
- CHARGE: You want to take pictures, right? Text? Tweet? Make sure your camera, phone and computer batteries are all charged up and ready to go in the morning!
- DOUBLE CHECK your to-do list: It never hurts to be extra careful!
- REST: You’re gonna need it for your exciting day of taking action!
Ready, set, go!
Watch another of the featured videos from the “What Does the Day of Silence Mean to You?” call for submissions. This video was submitted by Amanda L. from Syosset, NY. About Amanda and her video:
I'm a high school junior from Long Island and a member of the Gay-Straight Alliance Club. I feel very passionately about this issue of those feeling that they have to be silence everyday and I hope this video changes the way people view gays and lesbians.
"Cold Spring Harbor GSA: Day of Silence."
Wow! Thanks Amanda and the Cold Spring Harbor GSA!
Check out a featured poem from the “What Does the Day of Silence Mean to You?” call for submissions. This poem was submitted by Ilana K. of Rockville, MD.
I have never stopped talking Not even for one second Even when I am silent I am speaking so many words So one day a year my silence speaks more Than I ever could out loud My silence speaks for those who do stop talking Those who are forced to stop talking By a world that can’t accept them for who they are Or who they love Some people who have so much to say Can’t find the voice to say it Not because they don’t want to But because other people won’t let them Why is it that in this time With a black president Two women can’t get married in 42 states Transgender individuals can get fired People are discriminated against For things they can’t change They can’t make the change if they can’t find their voice And they can’t find their voice if people won’t let them Even if they find their voice There is no change that will happen Unless people are willing to listen So because I can’t stop talking I put away my voice for a day To bring attention to all the people Who are forced into the silence Not necessarily because they don’t have anything to say But because people won’t listen People won’t listen Thanks for your submission, Ilana! Have last minute planning to do for the Day of Silence? Visit our resources here, and have an awesome day tomorrow! Please note, the views expressed in the submission are those of the author, and are not necessarily shared by GLSEN.
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!
We’ve received reports from a number of organizers who have suffered problems after wearing duct tape on their mouths. As a consequence we feel it is important to address this safety issue. While we have never encouraged nor endorsed wearing duct tape for the Day of Silence, we recognize that the symbolism of putting duct tape over the mouth has become quite popular amongst some DOS organizers. Duct tape uses a very strong, water-resistant adhesive. When students attempt to take off the tape we have heard about a range of problems. In some instances there have been minor issues such as having difficulty removing the tape's glue from skin. In other more severe cases, students have experienced hair removal, rashes and skin irritation, and torn or ripped skin. And, wearing tape over your mouth can cause unwanted resistance from your school's administration who may also be concerned for your safety. As a result they may forbid the use of duct tape or try to stop Day of Silence activities. Since the goal is to be able to have an effective Day of Silence, it may be more strategic to consider other ways of showing your support. It's definitely not a requirement to cover your mouth for the Day of Silence, but if you want to consider using a bandanna or surgical mask. They're much safer, more comfortable and you can reuse them! Have a safe Day of Silence! Don't forget to register you event here and check out the Day of Silence store!
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.
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.
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 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!