‘Day of Silence’ brings awareness to GLBT harrassment
The Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) had their first meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 10 to discuss plans for this year. The GSA educates people as to the awareness, tolerance and acceptance of alternative lifestyles of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.
One of the events discussed was the day of silence. The day of silence is national protest held every year in which people of the Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgendered (GLBT) community and their supporters remain silent for a day to bring attention to GLBT harassment and name calling in schools. The goal of this protest is to create a safer school environment for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
The day of silence is designed to illustrate the silencing effect of bullying and harassment on GLBT students and those perceived to be GLBT. On the day of silence students hand out speaking cards that explain the reason for being silent and ask the question “What are you going to do to end the silence?”
This year the day of silence was Friday April 16, but the event was celebrated on campus Wednesday, April 14.
“Not many students have Friday classes so it would be pointless to do it that day” said Erik Normandin, president of the GSA. “It makes sense to do it on Wednesday because there are more students on campus and we have our meetings that day as well,” he said.
The group is hoping for better results than they’ve experienced in the past.
“Last semester we tried doing national coming out day and it was a disaster” said Normandin. “I was told we had a table set up in the Islip arts building, but when I got there we were pushed outside, so hopefully we can get a table in the Babylon Student Center this time.”
One problem the group discussed was ideas of explaining the day of silence to others while still being silent. “One idea we came up with was having a video made that will inform students about the event” said Normandin.. “We should have cards that let people speak, but still show their support,” said Dan Brown, a student attending the meeting.
Other ideas the group talked about included how to end the day of silence. “We will try and pick a time around 5 p.m., and everyone participating will let out a loud yell releasing their voice back into the world,” said Spencer Batho, a member of the GSA. “We need to make sure it’s in between classes so everyone can hear it.”
“It’s important for people to know about this issue and bring attention to the fact that students are being harassed and put a stop to it” said Normandin. “I really want this to be a success. I hope we can make a difference and open up peoples mind about the gay community.”
For more information about the GLBT community contact members of the GSA, who meet every Wednesday in room 202 of the Riverhead building during common hour. All students are welcomed.Explore posts in the same categories: News