The Day of Silence

On May 4, Air Academy’s student-led Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) will be partnering with No Place For Hate to participate in the Day of Silence (DOS) at AAHS, a day created by GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) to protest and draw attention to the silencing effect of bullying commonly experienced by LGBTQ students.  Although the national day of silence was April 27th, due to the work day, the AAHS recognition of this important event is this Friday May 4th.

The Day of Silence was first created in 1996 by students attending the University of Virginia in response to a class assignment on non-violent protests. This protest against the harassment and discrimination of the LGBTQ community has been held every year since 1996 and has been recognized in every state; GLSEN became the official sponsor of the event in 2001.

Since then, students around the nation have rallied together each year to draw greater attention to the bullying of and lack of acceptance of the LGBTQ community. People may not perceive bullying of LGBTQ students as a serious issue, but the problems are real:

  • LGBTQ youth seriously contemplate suicide at almost three times the rate of heterosexual youth
  • LGBTQ youth are almost five times as likely to have attempted suicide compared to heterosexual youth
  • Each episode of LGBTQ victimization, such as physical or verbal harassment or abuse, increases the likelihood of self-harming behavior by 2.5 times on average
  • In a national study, 40% of transgender adults reported having made a suicide attempt. 92% of these individuals reported having attempted suicide before the age of 25.

“Together we can join together to give a voice to those who have remained in silence,” says Cris Robson, faculty advisor for GSA.