GSA influenced by King

GSA day of silence was created in memory of Lawrence King’s murder.

The Day of Silence is a day of passive protest against bullying and harassment. On April 11th, supporters took a vow of silence to symbolically represent the silencing of the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) community and their allies. The Day of Silence is organized by the GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network), their first event being organized by a student attending the University of Virginia who proposed the Day of Silence to become an official GLSEN project. In 2008, over 8,000 schools participated in the Day of Silence in memory of Lawrence King, an eighth grader at E.O Green Middle School who was shot by a classmate because of his sexual orientation.

The Day of Silence is important to recognize and participate in because of unfortunate hate-crimes like Lawrence’s murder. Living in New York, we often don’t remember the hate that goes on outside of our liberal city until it is on the news and in the papers, until it is too late… Kids like Lawrence can be saved from violence if more of us can spread awareness and open people’s eyes to what is really going on around the world.    A world  where students are condemned for being open about their sexual identity, or harassed  just because they are  suspected of homosexuality.

Day of Silence, 2010, Grand Haven High School in Grand Haven Michigan, I had decided to make the day a bit more recognizable by sporting duck tape over my mouth with the infamous “NOH8” written on it. I walked into school to see that my small group of friends knew what today was and supporting the cause as well, while other classmates of mine took it as a sign to make snide comments and harass me, knowing I couldn’t say anything back to them. Others would make it a point to have a loud conversation with their friend about how “Stupid” it was because it wasn’t going to “prove” anything. Day of Silence, 2011, Curtis High School in Staten Island, New York, I again participated in the Day of Silence and was happy to see I was not alone, but it was not a very large group and  some found it frivolous and useless.

The point of this silent protest is not to only represent the silencing of the LGBTQ community, but to subliminally show that we don’t need to act on violence or words to get our point across. Spewing hate and opposition isn’t always going to bring the problem into the limelight, especially in the case of bullying and harassment. We also take this Day of Silence to show our respect to the victims who have been bullied to the edge and are no longer with us.

This Year’s hosting of The Day of Silence went spectacularly. Questions were asked, awareness was raised, and as the President of Curtis High School’s GSA, I’m incredibly proud to of everyone who participated and/or supported the cause.