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Actions Speak Louder: I participated in the ‘Day Of Silence’

Hanna Edwards, Staff Writer

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The Day of Silence is a day for LGBT+ students to come together and spread awareness about hate directed at the community. The Day of Silence has happened every third Friday in April since 1996. Those who join the protest against the discrimination of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, and other people who have been affected by homophobia.

The action of the protest is simple and harmless. Participants do not speak for a day. Some people do so in memory of those who had been hurt by homophobia or died from either homophobic attacks or suicide. It is estimated that at least one in five people are a part of the LGBT+ community, and they are three times as likely to commit suicide.

I prepared for this day very little, writing the cause of silence on my hand, and every time someone spoke to me, I pointed out the reason I could not reply to them with my voice. It made communicating with friends and teachers much harder.

Throughout the day people asked why I wasn’t speaking. Some people ignored it, some accepted it, and others tried to discourage me. I heard hateful remarks and slurs when they found out what the day meant. One person tried to tell me I was wrong for participating. I kept my mouth shut and endured their words. Some harshness really hurt and I felt bad sometimes for not being able to talk; it was hard not to. After the last bell rang, I was free! I immediately began talking to all my friends and could not stop even if I wanted to.

But why did I still feel bad? Why was it that I had a few friends that supported me, but more people that would shut me down and try to get me to be more like them? I didn’t hurt anyone or act against them with just being silent.

This is the reality for many LGBT+ people. They just want to be themselves, and it hurts no one by letting them. They start off with everyone against them, trying to make them straight or telling them they are wrong for being who they are. Although discrimination against LGBT+ has improved in recent years, people still attack, disown, mistreat or bully them. Some think gay people are being dramatic for wanting basic rights and protection from homophobia. They place false stereotypes on the community and bully them or even go as far as to commit hate crimes.

While the mentality of LGBT+ rights has changed in the past century, there is still progress to be made as hate against the community is still prevalent. It is time for society to open their minds and hearts and treat everyone equally, regardless of who they love.

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Actions Speak Louder: I participated in the ‘Day Of Silence’