GSA encourages everyone to participate in Friday’s Day of Silence

Day of Silence
Students in GSA hold a flier to promote the Day of Silence. From left to right: Rowan Cooper, Emilyn Bedell, Bella Hummel, Myra Thorn, Steven Hagmann, and Mrs. Katze

By Jeanne Lefort

This Friday will be the annual Day of Silence. Every year, students across the country take a vow of silence to protest the harassment and discrimination members of the LGBTQ+ community experience in schools. 

But why is this day necessary?

Bella Hummel, a junior, says it can help people understand the daily struggles of members of the LGBTQ+ community.

“The whole thing of being silent is a way to represent children and teens who have to stay silent about their sexual identities. And it shows how hard it really is to keep in who you really are in order to be ‘normal’ in society.”

Sophomore Rowan Cooper says the Day of Silence is also more than a protest. It’s a way to give support to people who feel like they can’t be themselves and show them that they’re not alone. 

“I really struggled a lot in middle school with not being able to express myself and my identity. There was a lot of my life that I couldn’t talk about with my family especially. There was just a lot of pain with realizing that I am trans and I couldn’t talk about that. And this is kind of giving a nod to people who are still going through that.”  

Being silent during the day can also help allies realize how difficult school can be for their LGBTQ+ peers. Bella emphasizes that anyone can participate in the protest.

“It’s for absolutely everyone. I think it’s a great experience to help show your peers that you support them and it’s just overall for everyone whether you are part of the community or just want to support it.”

While this protest is sometimes criticized, at York Suburban, it has received support from school board members and teachers who want to make school a safe place for everyone. Mrs. Katze, the GSA [Gender and Sexuality Alliance] club adviser, says that the Day of Silence has been received positively. “I think it’s greeted with a lot of positive reception, and a lot of support and a lot of encouragement. It has not been a difficult thing, it’s been a great thing.”

The rights of the LGBTQ+ community are still very contested today. According to GLSEN, 82% of LGBTQ+ students experience bullying or first-hand harassment in schools.

Senior Emilyn Bedell explains that this is why it’s still important today to show support and participate in the Day of Silence. Students are quiet, but the message is clear. “The irony of it is kind of fun because you don’t talk, but it brings awareness to that issue.”

I’m Jeanne Lefort, Trojan News.