Silence Recognizes LGBTQ Issues

Silence Recognizes LGBTQ Issues

Joelle Nelson, Co-Sports Editor

Bridget Bradford was speechless for much of the school day on Friday, April 15, as she chose to participate in A Day of Silence, sponsored by the Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA) club to promote awareness of LGBTQ issues.

Sophomore and SAGA Club Secretary Athya Uthayakumar explained, “It’s basically a day where a lot of us choose to stay silent to spread awareness about LGBTQ students who have been silenced in school.”

The SAGA club has been working on some “awareness projects ” over the year and hopes to see “what we can change in the school system,” said Uthayakumar.

The silence does not extend to class time. However, the SAGA club has emailed teachers to avoid calling on students that have chosen to take part. Uthayakumar said, “We really hope a lot of people do choose to stay silent,  and we hope that those people know that selective silence is okay. If you have to sing for a class, or do a presentation, that’s fine. The whole point is that you are staying silent for awareness.”

Breaking your silence to educate someone else about the day is also “not a bad idea,” Uthayakumar added.

Bradford said, “I spoke once to my friend when he was mocking the day, so I explained to him why I was doing this, but other than that I remained silent.”

The movement, officially called the GLSEN Day of Silence, is part of a national student-led event focused on anti-LGBT bullying and name calling in schools. In 2013, a National Climate Survey found that 9 out of 10 LGBTQ students have faced verbal, sexual, or physical harassment at school.

Bradford said she took part “to actualize the struggles that the people go through in the LGBTQ population when they are silenced.”

“It was really difficult. It wasn’t so much the talking in class, but to not be able to speak my mind to my friends or to give my opinion was really hard,” Bradford added.