Day of Silence
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The National Day of Silence -- April 17, 2009 -- brings attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools. It is a time when hundreds of thousands of students all over the country choose not to speak for one day, in symbolic solidarity with all the LGBT classmates and teachers forced into closets by the verbal and physical violence at school … all the people forced to pretend to be straight in order to keep themselves safe and respected.
(1) GLSEN's Day of Silence web site (Organizing Manual, speaking cards, stickers, event planning ideas and more): http://www.DayofSilence.org
DoS on MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/dayofsilence
DoS on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Day-of-Silence/10621862898
DoS on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/glsenpsa
(2) Lambda Legal's Frequently Asked Legal Questions about the Day of Silence: http://data.lambdalegal.org/publications/downloads/fs_glsen-day-of-silence.pdf
If you have questions or concerns about legal issues surrounding the Day of Silence, such as students' right to participate, contact Lambda Legal at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (212) 809-8585. Ask for the Day of Silence Help Desk.
(3) Safe Schools Coalition’s answers to the inevitable question Why do gay people have to come out?! What’s wrong with silence?! I don’t talk about my heterosexuality! Go to: http://www.safeschoolscoalition.org/Coming_Out.pdf
(4) Don’t be surprised if you face opposition. An international anti-gay organization, Exodus International, is providing some of your classmates with tools to harass you on the day after the Day of Silence. They call it the “Day of Truth” but their so-called truth is, essentially that it is possible (not true) and desirable (their opinion) and Christian (there are lots of Christians who disagree) for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people to change. The day after the Day of Silence is a time to be especially vigilant that nobody disrespects your LGBT classmates by getting in their face about religion once they have asked to be left alone. People are entitled to their own religious beliefs, but they aren’t entitled to make someone else’s school day hell.
· Tell harassers to knock it off.
· Tell your LGBT classmates that you think they are fine just the way they are.
· Tell an adult if you see classmates being verbally abused in this way. Insist that they tell the harassers to knock it off. If they won’t, find an adult who will support you. It’s not too much to ask!
"Silence kills the soul, it diminishes its possibility to rise and fly and explore. Silence withers what makes you human. The soul shrinks, until it's nothing." -- Marlon Riggs
“Well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech.” -- Martin Fraquhar Tupper
"Silence remains, inescapably, a form of speech." -- Susan Sontag
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