Day of Silence: Tell Your Story!

"Please understand my reasons for not speaking today. I am participating in the Day of Silence, a national youth movement protesting the silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies. My deliberate silence echoes that silence, which is caused by harassment, prejudice, and discriminaton. I believe that ending the silence is the first step toward fighting these injustices. Think about the voices you are not hearing today."

Share your Day of Silence stories here!

Comments

Dark_Roses's picture

My School Did It!!!

My friend and I tried to start a GSA, but the principal gave us the idea for a Diversity Club instead.... The Diversity club did our school's version of Day Of Silence. It wasn't just for GLBT people, it was also for different races, religion, appearance, etc. It went over GREAT!!!! I made rainbow ribbons for people to wear and we spread the word by just word of mouth and people were coming to our sponsor's classroom ALL DAY to get ribbons and join in on the silence. There were about 50 ribbons and we ran out. (Our silence was just during the school day.) We had a meeting after school to discuss our thoughts about the day and how we were treated. One student was called a "fag" because of the rainbow ribbon (he is an exchange student from Germany, and isn't gay).

Day of silence made an impact on our school, as far as I know so far. And I am excited for how well it will go over next year.

yep_im_a_stalker's picture

My Day of Silence was a

My Day of Silence was a success! My friend/crush Kylie was upset that I wasn't talking so she said "If I farted in your face, would you talk then?" Which made me choke from laughing. Some of the people in my French class didn't understand what I was doing (with 3 of my friends in the class doing it as well) so I gave one girl the paper and she read it out loud. None of the boys made nasty comments like I'd expected, and the class really enjoyed my mime act--everytime the teacher asked a question I would mime the answer and get the whole class into it! My other crush saw me carrying the paper to show my teacher in Geometry and said with a huge smile, "Oh you're doing the silence thing? Cool." All through the period she would turn around and smile at me. At the end of the period I wrote a note asking about some assignments and had to mime some things. For the most part, she couldn't understand me but she had fun trying to guess! On bus on the way home my seventh grade friends asked why I didn't have to talk, and after I explained it they were in awe! They were so excited for next year to come so they could do it, too!

Also, I slipped a note into my main crush's locker--"Day of Silence '07; what will you do to end the silence?" I hope it will make some sort of impact on her (knowing it's from me, it should).

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deepspace87's picture

well, i didnt participate

well, i didnt participate because im not out and not in the GSA... but i saw the people from the GSA and our school had special shirts made for it too

Never be afraid to stand up for whats right. If you lose your values, you've lost yourself, so dont let someone change you into someone you arnt. Don't be afraid of the punishment, Rejoyce in the freedom that let to it.

Milly B's picture

I'm sorry, but aren't you

I'm sorry, but aren't you being hypocritical by using that signature? It says: "Never be afraid to stand up for whats right." but you don't think that you can participate in the Day of Silence because you're not out? That seems a bit hypocritical to me. And lots of people do it, not just gay people - you said yourself that the GSA members did it, and I'm sure there's straight people there that did it, so...

paintthesilence's picture

DoS was I guess a success at

DoS was I guess a success at my school, mostly because it sparked a lot of conversation and discussion - there's gonna be a big meeting at lunch on Friday for people to talk about it, since a lot of people got worked up over it (people for it and people against it).
A bunch of people got into a sort of debate in the school email system on the DoS topic, since one guy sent out a schoolwide email telling people to stop bugging the kids who were participating in DoS, and then everyone was talking about it, email and actual talking.
The one obnoxious thing was that a bunch of people did it just to get out of talking in class, people tried to get out of making English presentations and those that DID make their presentations got screwed over. Mainly because, at least for the Juniors, we have to have a class plan and teach for the 45 minutes, whatever prose or poetry we were assigned to teach, and because of DoS a lot of people just took it as an excuse not to participate in the student-taught classes either, and if you're teaching, part of what you're graded on is getting everyone to participate... Anyway, stuff like that was just obnoxious, but for the most part, it went alright.

msquared's picture

Pretty Snazzy

Considering we don't have a GSA at my school, our DoS wasn't that big. Basically it was either friends whom I told or read the myspace bulletin I made about it. I know for a fact there were at least five other kids who participated, but there were probably five to ten more whom I didn't know about.

Even though the amount of participants wasn't gynormous, we still made a big impact. People were buzzing about it all over school. Plus I made some cards explaining my silence (the very paragraph Jeffrey posted, actually) and I think those got passed around a lot.

It was really tough being quiet all day! Usually I'm a super smashin' social cyborg and the idea of being silent at school for longer than 5 minutes is completely foreign to me. It was totally awkward, too, and on so many different levels. First of all, just being quiet around other people is weird. Then the weirdness is increased because you know that they're thinking about the fact that you're gay. There are more levels of awkwardness after that, but I've forgotten them.

I have to say, I'm incredibly proud of myself for doing this. I can't believe how friggin brave I was. The defining point of this entire day was when I walked into tennis practice after school and gave my explanation cards to about half the team (who spread the word to the other half, I'm sure), including the coach. Mind you, these are all straight guys (or so they say...I highly doubt all of them are) and some of them are homophobic. Most of them know I'm gay already, but some of them didn't, so I pretty much made sure everyone on that team knows I'm gay and I'm not afraid to show it. It took some major balls. Three, to be exact, so I had to borrow from a friend. But I couldn't speak to tell him I was just borrowing his nut, so it was incredibly awkward. Okay, I just made that up.

“Never forget! The higher we soar, the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

saving the last koala bear's picture

It was GREAT! Oh man, I was

It was GREAT! Oh man, I was so excited. The only thing that went wrong is that freshmen and sophomores are standardized testing this week, so seniors and juniors didn't have to come in until later, so mainly underclassmen picked up ribbons before school. But we got nearly 400 people, so I'd say yeah...we made an impact!

Toph's picture

Oh gosh, what a day.

It was our first DoS at my school. We don't have a GSA, and my school isn't exactly gay friendly, so we expected some controversy. I didn't expect kids to fight back though. You see, I made stickers with a rainbow background saying "Day of Silence 2007" and "I support the Day of Silence", and I handed them out to my friends. They handed some out to others, so there were about 20 kids or so either staying silent or showing their support. I wore my rainbow shoelaces, and I gave rainbow strips of cloth to participants.

Well, word went around school fast, and by the end of 2nd hour there were girls that had taped paper to their shirts saying "God made Adam and Eve....not Adam and Steve." It hurt so much to see that. One girl ripped off a supporter's sticker and shredded it. There were some kids who kept arguing and were saying mean things about the day of silence. My gay friend was harassed more because he's out. They were calling him the "gay of silence". I kept texting him throughout the day to support him. You see, I wasn't harassed at all. I think it's because the upperclassmen are more mature (and because I'm closeted), so they didn't make it a big deal. But, other students were harassing 3 of my friends all day, and 2 of them left class crying. Since I was kinda the leader (somewhat), I told them we should speak during lunch to help support them. It was my free hour during the lunch periods, so I checked up with each of them and listened to what they had to say.

Anyway, I really think it worked. Some teachers stood up for students and spoke of their support. Student's eyes were opened and aware that gay issues is something that does exist in our school. Also, it made me so happy to hear people speaking in favor of our cause. One of the girls that had that adam and eve paper was arguing with her best friend because he was telling her how wrong she was to be so mean. Day of Silence brought out the ugly side of a lot of people, but also showed that glimmer of hope in our supporters we weren't aware existed until today. When the school day was over, I had a big smile on my face. I felt that I had helped make a difference. For our first year, I believe it was a good start. I hope it's a better, more positive experience next year for them.

OH I FORGOT TO MENTION SOMETHING! After the day was done, my brother approached me in the halls. I nearly had a heart attack because I thought he'd get onto me about the DoS. Turns out, he came to tell me of his support. He said he went around the halls ripping the adam and eve papers off of people's shirts, and then he went on to tell them they had no right to be doing such a thing. I'm so proud of him! :D

~May the spirits guide your every move...to assure you please her in all the right places XD

evilgeinus1988's picture

My day was really good. We

My day was really good. We had so much going on. the only major problem i had was i had to tell my french teacher, who is from senegal what i was doing and he was a little confused so we explained it. we also had a breaking the silene even at five in the evening. i couldn't make that and i was so sad.

all in all i did expect to hear omments but none were made to me. I was very depressed when i went to check out an apartment and my best friend and i decided that i should take off the DOS note i had pinned to my jacked for fear of not getting the apartment. i wanted to cry when i realized why we had both agreed on it

rainbowboi's picture

Jeff...not considering those

Jeff...not considering those of us over in japan who get DoS a day early? :-P.

It was good at my school. which is like, really really mormon. the only thing is that I really don't think people (the ones who don't do it) understand it--AT ALL. So, idk...its kind of hard to explain it too i guess, b/c i don't think most people have ANY idea about the actual silence faced by lgbtq students. so it just seems kind of pointless.

Fox's picture

The day of silence is a

The day of silence is a really good idea, imo, however atleast at my Public High School over half the school was participating just so they wouldn't have to answer any questions during class. It's a good idea but it's really easily abused to get out of work. Just my 2 cents.

whateversexual_llama's picture

I had a plan. A fantastic

I had a plan. A fantastic plan, seeing as I am the only one in my school who's heard of the day of silence, and I didn't participate last year, and next year I'm leaving the school.

My plan was to make an announcement in the morning raising awareness. I was going to bring in a stack of index cards and say that anyone who wanted to participate should find me and I could give them a card to show to the teachers in class. And then I wasn't going to speak for the rest of the day, and have people not speaking with me.

But what happened? I woke up on wednesday soaked in sweat and shivering with a killer headache. My temperture was 102.5. I did not go to school.

This was the one day I really wanted to go to school. And I got sick.

I spent my day of silence drinking tea and eating toast, watching cartoon network. I am pissed.

Whatever I did, I didn't do it.

andyouwillknowmebythesoundofmyname's picture

I thought this was a gay-friendly school

I was shocked at what happened to me.
I really thought this was an extremely gay-friendly school.
One of my TEACHERS forgot that I was doing Day of Silence. When he saw that I had one of the DoS cards on my desk he said "oh no, you're doing that crap?!!?!".
ouch
I don't think he really was hatefull, I think he just hated the protest in general, but it hurt me. I am very good at maintaining decorum in the face of humiliation, but something in my eyes cracked when he said that.
My fellow students in all my clases were great. They supported me, they asked very good questions. It really kept me going.

At noon we had a protest on our school's quad. We all stood in formation with signs about DoS and stories of hate crimes. We stood there for an hour. The silence was amazingly profound. Mid-way through, a girl broke the silence with this "I am going to break the silence now, like I do every year by telling you this story. My best friend committed suicide when he was 13 three years ago yesterday. He was gay. We didn't know. We wouldn't have cared, but because some people in society care, he had to die. This is wrong and it has to stop. This is why I am silent today."
There was silent crying and hugs after that.
Near the end of the hour, someone led us in slow clapping. In the silence, this was very effective. It was impossible not to notice it. We clapped faster and faster until it was just noise, and then we let it die off. It was amazing. My friend who is also gay was standing next to me, there were straight friends standing next to me. It was very moving. I also saw that teacher watching the protest.
wow
After 1 pm, we were still silent, but we ended the protest by wandering off. My friend and I were so overwhelmed that we went to the nearest computer lab and used a word processor to talk it all out.

Basically, most people we encountered were extremely supportive. The fact that a few of the people we look up to let us down was hard.
(His parents are...less than supportive)

Oh yeah, and one of my friends came out as bi yesterday AT THE PROTEST. I am so proud of him. It feels like just yesterday that I was going through the same thing. He was brave, but I could tell he was scared. I am so proud of him. I think it is harder to come out as bi if you are bi than if you are a girl.

I decided to take a peek in the closet.
What a suprise to find myself hiding inside!

peanut_gallery's picture

That's amazing. Sidera

That's amazing.

Sidera cadentia somnos suadent.
(Aeneid 2.9)

andyouwillknowmebythesoundofmyname's picture

an update

Okay, that teacher in question redeemed himself today.
He asked me again what the protest was about and what I thought of it and I told him about my friend whose friend had recently been attacked with a beer bottle because he was gay. He said that he was really suprised because before he thought that everything was just fine (even I consider this a gay-friendly town) so he didn't see a need for the protest. He had no idea that things were still as bad as they are.
I feel like I really changed his mind.
I made a difference.
:)
Doesn't get much better than that.
I decided to take a peek in the closet.
What a suprise to find myself hiding inside!

evilgeinus1988's picture

*tears*

I really wish i ould have been at the quad with you guys. I walked by and mouthed i am so proud but thats all i could do.

I am so proud of you...

to whateversexual llama, look at good colleges... this event is for high school and college students. just keep in mind that you'll have other chances to protest. it is even good that you were with all of us in spirit, even if you were at home sick

Imstillhere's picture

So fun :)

I got like 10 other people to do it, which is sort of a big deal because im not out and they didnt even know what i was trying to explain lol. It was the first time i had ever participated in DoS and it was a very awesome experience. There was state testing the first 3 periods which really sucked but i was happy to participate this year.

Hyacinthus's picture

I kicked ass!

Hey everyone!!! The elusive Hyacinthus has finally returned to oasis since his miraculus winning streak : P! But yeah my day of silence kicked ass!!!!! i basically put the whole thing together myself after i was basically proclaimed de facto president of our GSA. so i made the posters, and the fliers, and got us all the materials. so in the end we got about 200+ people who either supported or actually participated, and on the day of we were still signing up people like crazy!!! i was sooooo proud!!!! but yeah i have to confess that i wasn't completely silent...i did have that newspaper interview to do... : D love you guys!!!!!

"Persuasive speech, and more persuasive sighs,
Silence that spoke, and eloquence of eyes."
- The Iliad (bk. XX, l. 315), (Bryant's translation)

Moonmage's picture

Day of Silence at the All Girl's School

Well for one day of silence turned out really well at my school....well sort of better then I thought it would. I was so happy though I was planing to do it anyway, but one of the girl's from peace club help spread ther word. so when I came to school with my little explanation to why I was silent duct tape to my t-shirt, I found a lot of people doing the same thing. I mean people from gay to straight and everything in between participate.....Not only was that nice it made it easier....I am relitively open but I really perfer to not get harrassed about it. Still though I found that a lot more people then I thought are gay at my school (since they were more open about it)

The only thing that was hard was the fact that some teachers, like mhy english teacger just kind of laughed at it. Also, there were two negative responces that we (the people who participate) got. The first was the "the issue is not an issue worth time spending on. You should protest things that is actually a problem, like the war"....which is sad i mean yes i agree the war is big problem....but it just prove the point how people silence the problem of harrasement of GLBT.....The second responce either "who care about homos" or the whole going to hell crap (why does the best academic school in Or have to be catholic?).

Moonmage

andyouwillknowmebythesoundofmyname's picture

I didn't get the worst of it...

Our Queer club on campus talked about how Day of Silence went for everyone.
My friend who puts on a GLBT movie night every friday in my residence hall said that someone he gave the info card to tore it in half. His only response was to smile, so this guy tore the card into more pieces and then threw them away.
*ugh*
This is really an example of how unfair it is right now. Lesbians are admired, gay men are hated.
We HAVE to change this.

I decided to take a peek in the closet.
What a suprise to find myself hiding inside!

sheepydoll's picture

Well,

I was the only one in my school who actually did it. But I expected that. I live in a very conservative small town. There started out being 2 of us doing it, but by the end of the day I was the only one. It was a good experience, though, because I think it really did raise awareness. At least in all of my classes. I would really love to start a school wide DoS next year, but I don't know how well that'll go over. I got a lot of shit about it this year with just me doing it. I guess I expected that, though. People aren't exactly gay friendly in rural Georgia. I'm glad I did it though, and I hope more people will join in next year.

"So you found a girl who thinks really deep thoughts.
Whats so amazing about really deep thoughts?"

QuakerOats's picture

67% of my school was silent

67% of my school was silent or wore stickers in support of a trans-inclusive nondiscrimination policy, which our GSA has been pushing this year. Then we had a county-wide breakign the silence with pizza and socializing and story-sharing sponsored by PFLAG. It rocked!

You should all try to register your events at studentorganizing.org so you can be counted for statistics and get free stickers and stuff.

milee13's picture

My school did absolutely

My school did absolutely nothing for day of silence, it was the first time in four years that I wasn't able to participate because I had to work and also because I needed to communicate to classmates. I was actually rather surprised that at a school rather notorious for its lesbian population so few people even knew what it was when I mentioned it.

suzie's picture

i was the only one to do it

i was the only one to do it at my bearly tollerent school who did it. actually, all of the staff were really supportive. as the only out queer every one knows me, and knew i was doing DoS. and it was brillian! i had a fantastic day, and i really think i made an impact. i am planning on doing it next year too!