Today, April 15, thousands of students across the nation will participate in GLSEN's "Day of Silence" at their educational institutions in order to draw attention to the bullying and harassment that queer youth all across the country experience every day at their schools.
Sponsored by local Gay-Straight Alliances and GLSEN chapters, this year's "Day of Silence" is themed "Silence Is Ours." According to organizers, this year's theme is about focusing on reclaiming silence and using it as a form of empowerment for those on the receiving end of homophobic and transphobic language.
“We all agreed that 'Silence Is Ours’ should be this year’s theme," Emery Vela, a sophomore from Colorado and member of GLSEN's National Student Council, told The Huffington Post. "We recognized that so many LGBT students like us are silenced by bullying and harassment, but now we’re working to reclaim that silence. Silence is a tool that's ours, and we’re using it to make schools better for everyone.”
According to a recent survey from GLSEN, 85 percent of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students reported being verbally harassed at school in the past year.
Executive Director of GLSEN Eliza Byard sees this as unacceptable.
"Whatever the context, the core message and purpose endures: GLSEN’s Day of Silence is a national student-led event that brings attention to the bullying, harassment, and violence experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth in schools," Byard told The Huffington Post. "Our work is not yet done, and the need for student leadership on these issues through events like GLSEN’s Day of Silence is as clear as ever."
Want to learn more about this year's "Day of Silence" and how you can get involved? Head here.