Thursday, April 15, 2010

The National Day of Silence. Be Heard.

Silence Can Sometimes Be Heard. Tomorrow April 16th is The National Day of Silence. The first National Day of silence was in April of 1996. NDOS is sponsored by GLSEN ( The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Alliance). What exactly is The National day of Silence for? Is it a day to be silent? Yes and no. It is a day to bring about awareness of the harassment and bullying faced by LGBT students. A day when students all over America by a vow of silence or partial silence show others how to respect those who are different. It is a concept many don’t understand. How can I bring about discussion by being silent? It isn’t really all that difficult. There are many ways. Students (and adults alike) can start by learning about the day. A discussion with teachers, classmates, family members, and friends on how students need a safe place to learn. It’s meant to be a dialogue so that students will have a venue to express the fact that hostility and gay bashing is not acceptable. Here is a short video from some people you may know regarding NDOS.

Fate is an astonishing thing. I have been thinking of writing this post for 3 days. This afternoon a fellow activist ana blogger told me he didn’t agree with being silent. I replied that it wasn’t about being silent, it’s about using the silence to speak volumes. He is a very decent man, whom along with his partner strive to make others aware of LGBT rights. It was his contention that celebrating the Day was pointless. We both agreed to disagree. As fate would have it, 30 minutes after our conversation, I went to do some food shopping with my partner. As luck would have it, while we were checking at the checkout, one of the cashiers who recently came out to us, said “ My school is having a special day tomorrow”. I was so excited I interjected (okay I interrupted her) about what she could do. I explained that I knew of the day and was writing a post on it today. I gave her some history on what the day was. She knew a little about it, but still wasn’t sure how she was going to participate. We exchanged emails, and I told her I’d write her as soon as I had written this post. It doesn’t matter if it’s called a day of Silence. What does matter is that students all over will teach even those who spend all day teaching others, the value of equality and understanding for others. This to me means that it is not a waste of time. There is an old saying “each one teach one”. Young people can and often do teach those much older than themselves something of great value. Anyone who has dealt with children and young adults know this.

So tomorrow, on National Day of Silence, be silent for a time, if only to let your voice be heard. It is just another way to have a voice. Much like the No Hate Campaign whose logo and symbol is a picture with duct tape over ones mouth. I myself have one ( look on the sidebar). It means stop being silent. Bring awareness. Speak up. It’s a time to be a voice for those students like Lawrence “Larry” King who lost his life because of a classmates ignorance and hate. In trying to stop the bullying and harassment, Congressman and people from all walks of life are participating tomorrow. Congressman Elliot L. Engel, has this month, introduced bill H.C. Res.92. It is a bill in recognition of National Day of Silence. I hope you will call and show your support for this bill to be passed. The bill can be viewed here.

So please remember that tomorrow is NOT about being silent, but about speaking up. To the students like my cashier friend, Stephanie, it means the difference between feeling safe and making a difference, or living in fear. For tips on what you can do, please visit Help make a difference too.


  1. "¡Basta de silencios!¡Gritad con cien mil lenguas! porque, por haber callado, ¡el mundo está podrido!"
    Santa Catalina de Siena (1347-1380) Religiosa italiana.

  2. Gracias por el lindo comentario! Thanks for the beautiful comment!


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