Students Use ‘Day of (No) Silence’ As LGBT Activism

“With more than 800 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced last year, we must Rise Up and Take Action.”

GLSEN, a leading national organization advocating for safe and inclusive schools for queer youth, is taking a new approach to their annual Day of Silence event.

In response to the flood of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, the event is transforming into the Day of (No) Silence by encouraging students, activists and educators to speak out against hateful policies.

Day of Silence, a nationally recognized student-led demonstration, has occurred every April since the mid 90s. Hundreds of thousands of students go through the school day without speaking and end their protest with Breaking the Silence rallies across the country to urge their school to be more inclusive.

Today, GLSEN laid out a plan for participants to use their voices, from lifting up students stories online to creating an inclusive classroom using The Rainbow Library to taking the National School Climate Survey.

The Day of (No) Silence kicks off today, April 12.

“With more than 800 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced last year, we must Rise Up and Take Action,” the organization announced in the release.

In an interview with the Washington Blade, GLSEN’s Director of Communications Madison Hamilton discussed the decision to switch tactics this year.

“We have heard from students and educators in our network, telling us that they want to take action and speak out. The silent protest is just not working anymore.”

Hamilton also brought up Nex Benedict, a 16-year-old trans nonbinary high school student who was bullied and jumped by students prior to their death.

“At GLESN we believe education is the cornerstone of our democracy. All this hate rhetoric leads to hate crimes. Nex was in that bathroom because politicians in Oklahoma required them to be in that bathroom,” Hamilton said.

GLESN believes that educators play a key role creating safe and learning environments for LGBTQ+ children, who are often pushed aside.

With over 40 chapters across 30 states, the organization’s national network is comprised of more than 1.5 million students, families and educators.

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