Yesterday, some students may have noticed that many of their peers were wearing colored circular stickers on articles of their clothing. Some students may have also noticed that many of their peers seemingly did not talk all day. The particularly astute observer will have realized that these two groups of people were in fact the same. But why?
Well, these colored-sticker-wearing, not-talking bunch were actually participating in the National Day of Silence to raise awareness about the humiliation and ostracization that LGBTQIA+ young people experience on a regular basis, often times in school.
The Day, which has been an annual occurrence since 1996, is sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network. According to GLSEN, “[the Day of Silence] is a student-led national event where folks take a vow of silence to highlight the silencing and erasure of LGBTQ people at school.”
When I spoke to sophomore Sophia Margittai, who was one of the dozens to take part in the Day this year, she seconded this sentiment: “Even though we were quiet, we were the ones making the most noise.” Sophomore Amber Davis shed even more light on the subject: “The Day of Silence is a time to recognize the mistreatment of the LGBTQ community. I’ve participated in the Day of Silence since sixth grade and I intend to show my support throughout the rest of high school.”
Support is indeed a key word. As I chatted with some of the people not engaging in the protest, there seemed to exist a common misconception that the Day was only meant for those who were lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, when in reality this is by no means the case. So, if you know someone who has been affected by the stigmatization that surrounds the community, consider taking the oath next year.