Day of Silence — 4/23/2021

A day of national Queer demonstration and remembrance

IMAGE: Day of Silence graphic — glsen.org

Today, April 23rd, 2021, we acknowledge the Day of Silence. Initiated by GLSEN, the national LGBTQ+ educational nonprofit, hundreds of thousands of LGBTQ+ students, educators, and allies today are taking a literal vow of silence to protest the discrimination many continue to face in their schools on a daily basis for simply existing. This day also honors the LGBTQ+ lives we have lost due to violence against their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

GLSEN’s 2019 National School Climate Survey found that 69% of LGBTQ+ students reported being verbally harassed by their peers due to their sexual orientation with 57% reporting verbal harassment based on their gender identity. 26% of LGBTQ+ students reported being physically harassed due to their sexual orientation, 22% based on their gender identity. The Day of Silence aims to bring further awareness to this issue by showing how loud LGBTQ+ silence can truly be, also bringing to attention what it would be like if those taking today’s vow weren’t present.

As the Public Policy Coordinator & Community Liaison with GLSEN Lower Hudson Valley here in New York State, I am immensely proud and honored to do be doing the work that I do. Simultaneously, I am also proud of the youth and educators we serve who are standing up and putting action into the fact that we shouldn’t have to fight for our basic human rights in the first place.

Reiterating a part of our chapter’s press release regarding today’s demonstration:

Education will always be the first line of defense against ignorance. GLSEN Lower Hudson Valley has and continues to be unreserved in our mission in providing the necessary resources to all K-12 school districts and their GSA or likewise groups within Westchester, Rockland, and Putnam Counties. We ask that all parents, educators, and school district officials also step up to the plate and make sure that bigotry towards our LGBTQ+ community members is called out and rectified.

In addition, our chapter will continue to strongly advocate for the passage of New York State legislation including but not limited to the “LGBTQI-Inclusive Curriculum Bill (Jackson/O’Donnell)”, “GENDA Implementation In Schools (Hoylman/Gottfried)”, “Comprehensive Sex Ed. In Schools (Brouk/Nolan)”, and the “Student Suicide Prevention Act (Hoylman/O’Donnell)”.

The human right for each and every one of us to not only be given accessible, quality education, but to exist safely, freely, and to the fullest extent possible as we are is nonnegotiable.”

Please feel free to download and post any of our Day of Silence graphics on your social media to show your support for today’s demonstration, and continue to have those important conversations with friends and family on why it’s crucial we uplift our LGBTQ+ and intersectionally marginalized youth. You are encouraged to contact your State Assemblymember and State Senator to express your support of the above bills as well.

Our silence today reverberates, and we refuse to not be heard.

Democratic socialist Queer rights activist who is sexually liberated and respects their mental health. Email me: mthm100@gmail.com

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