Today, rather than tomorrow, due to a all-school Pride Assembly on Friday (ironic, right?), my high-school participated in GLSEN’s annual Day of Silence.
While informing my Global Studies teacher of my decision to participate a few days ago, he remarked that, on the Day of Silence, he liked to have participating students prepare a statement to be read on their behalf. He believed that through these statements, other students would be able to better understand both the Day itself, as well as connect to their classmates.
Mine was as follows:
Today, I choose silence. Today, I am silent for myself, and for all other lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning students. Today, I am silent in order to call attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, intolerance, and harassment at Glenbrook North. Today, I am silent for the 9 out of every 10 LGBT students harassed at their school in the past year, the 2/3rds that felt unsafe, and the 1/3rd who have missed school in the past month due to safety concerns. Today, through silence, I speak.
The effect that the reading of these statements had on my class was palpable. A connection was established that most definitely would’ve been avoided, had my teacher not given me this voice. He let me, and my fellow classmates, share our stories. For that, I’m very grateful.
Unfortunately, not every participating student will have a teacher as cool as mine. But still, I invite you to compose your own statement for why you choose silence. Have it read to your class. Point to it when someone gives you a blank stare after you point to your t-shirt. Share it on facebook or twitter – or simply drop it in the comments section. Happy (early) Day of Silence, everyone!