April 14, 2011

>The Day They Heard Their Silence, by Anthony Crisci

>Anthony Crisci is GLSEN's Days of Action Intern. He's been working really hard for the past several months to deliver communications, resources and products to student organizers. He reflects on his experience and shares with us his thoughts about the Day of Silence.

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Labeling envelopes, collecting materials, posting information, responding to emails; these are some of the things I do everyday as an intern for the Day of Silence. I have printed out thousands of labels each with a different name, a different address, but not one with a face. While getting ready for the Day of Silence I often try to picture some of the hundreds of thousands of students that will be participating, but despite my efforts they often remain faceless.

These faceless students are exactly what the Day of Silence represents. If schools made addressing anti-LGBT bullying and harassment a priority there certainly would not be a need for this day. The students who will be participating in the Day of Silence are the same students who are forced to walk through school halls each day not only frequently hearing anti-LGBT language and slurs, but in extreme cases becoming victims of anti-LGBT violence. These incidents are not stories that often make the news; they occur so frequently that they are often seen as common place and un-noteworthy.

The Day of Silence is a day when these faceless students make the news. For one day the entire country will stop and acknowledge the existence of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment. This time it will not be because of a tragic murder or suicide, this time we will acknowledge this problem because of the peaceful silent demonstration of students who will not remain faceless any longer. I may not be able to see their faces, but students in thousands of schools across the country will be standing together in silence on April 15, 2011. They may be alone at their school, but they know that the entire country will be watching and listening… to their silence.

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Stay tuned for more Day of Silence stories. If you would like to share your story, email us at info@dayofsilence.org.

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