March 25, 2010

>DOS Question of the Week

>We at GLSEN get a lot of questions about Day of Silence. Each week leading up to DOS we'll post the answer to a common question about organizing and participating in a Day of Silence event.

Why silence? Aren’t we trying to fight against silence?
A silent protest 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 protest 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 protestor;
  • 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, throw a party with your GSA or host a discussion group with DOS participants—the sky’s the limit!

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