Speaking out through silence

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Speaking out through silence

Elizabeth Venier, Staff Writer

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The Day of Silence, a day where students can show their support of the LGBTQ community by not speaking, is a nationall-supported event adopted by GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network). This is now hosted annually by the GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance).

“This event is a chance to highlight the silencing and erasure of LGBTQ students on a regular basis due to harassment or bullying or fear of speaking out,” senior and GSA President Kaitlin Steiger said. “It emphasizes how widespread of a problem it is and how we can work to fix it.”

The Day of Silence originated when two University of Virginia students gathered over 150 other students to not speak for the day, and the next year it became a national event.

“I saw it on the calendar, and since we had such a success with ‘No- Name Calling Week,’ I thought it would be a good thing to do,” Steiger said. “After our anti-bullying week we realized there was a lot of bullying going on that people need to be aware of.”

This is GSA sponsor Canita Lee’s first year leading the club, but she has stood by GSA for years and for this event.

“The GSA officers wanted to take part in this event,” Lee said. “I’m happy to support them in their efforts to promote understanding of LGBTQ issues in school and the community at large.”

This peaceful protest is designed for students that are afraid to stand up for others, or even themselves, out of fear of causing rifts.

“I really like this event,” senior and vice president Emily Lucas said. “It gives students a safe and practical way to show their support for LGBT students who have experienced bullying and harassment.”

Lee is proud of every member and how much the club has grown this year.

“The mission of the TMHS Gay-Straight Alliance is to educate and to promote inclusion of LGBTQ youth,” Lee said. “This year’s officer board has done an incredible job of fulfilling that mission.”

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