April 14, 2009

>A great idea for Breaking the Silence

>I wanted to share an activity to do for your Breaking the Silence (BTS) event. Last year I went to GLSEN Kansas City's BTS event.

There were a number of activities involved, but one of the most exciting and fascinating of them was the "rush hour rally". I'm not sure if this is what they officially call it, but that is in effect what it was.

A group of about 50 students, chapter leaders, parents, and GSA advisers gathered at a public fountain near a busy intersection. They were decked out in Day of Silence t-shirts and rainbow paraphernalia. They had noisemakers and posters that said "Honk if you support safe schools!", "Support the Day of Silence!", "Equality is a right!" and other catchy slogans. They lined the sidewalk and encouraged rush hour motorists to honk in support of the Day of Silence.

The air was filled with excitement and camaraderie and every time someone unbeknown to the Day of Silence would honk there would be an overwhelming uproar. They did an amazing job of raising awareness about the DOS to the Kansas city community. It was phenomenal.

Here are a few ideas to incorporate for your Breaking the Silence event:

1. Have a silent countdown
2. Have all event attendees write their comments on a huge banner
3. Have some of the DOS participants speak out about their experiences of being silent all day, and about their experiences of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment
4. Invite local performers, singers, musicians, poets, theater troupes, etc.
5. Have food! Have music! Have fun!

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