April 15, 2010

>Day of Silence Student Voices: Arny (Lodi, NJ)

>The Day of Silence is almost here! For today's Student Voices column, Arny, from Lodi, New Jersey, explains how he and fellow students view the Day of Silence as a way to address the particular hurdles that LGBT students of color face, and how students can participate in the Day of Silence to raise awareness about biased-based discrimination and violence of many different kinds. Thanks, Arny!

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The National Day of Silence is an event with the purpose of calling attention to bullying and harassment towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer students (LGBTQ) and their allies. However, this silent protest has a wider scope.

What is the Day of Silence like for a gay student of color?

For many LGBTQ students of color, homosexuality remains a forbidden taboo. For others, it may be a great disappointment or dishonor to the family. Add to this constant teasing for being Asian, or Latino, or African American etc. in schools, and it’s an unbearable pain to withstand. The Day of Silence only helps highlight the additional silent suffering of LGBTQ students of color.

In my school the Day of Silence was mostly dominated by students of color. The majority of us rebelling from traditional values, ignorant peers, and a society that shuns us for who we are whether it be based on race or sexual orientation. I believe that the Day of Silence only becomes even more personally meaningful to students of color because we must endure bullying from another side of the spectrum. A student’s skin color, religion, class, disability, and sexual orientation and gender identity are all reasons for bullying and the Day of Silence helps shed light upon the mistreatment, bullying and harassment each student, who suffers this torment, endures in order to attend school.

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