GSA Participates in National Day of Silence


Media by Ben Hughes

Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) is participating in a national Day of Silence to protest the abuse, mistreatment and erasure of LGBTQ+ students. Organized by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), students are given a yellow card explaining their protest and providing statistics about the mistreatment of LGBTQ+ students in schools.

MHS may seem quieter than usual Friday, April 22.

Some students are participating in a nation-wide movement organized by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) that involves LQBTQ+ students and their allies taking a vow of silence to highlight the silencing, abuse and erasure of LGBTQ+ students across the country.

Almost 90 percent of LGBTQ+ students experience verbal abuse and nearly a third miss school due to feeling unsafe, uncomfortable or threatened by people in their school and community, according to GLSEN.

Since its creation in the 90s, GLESN’s Day of Silence has expanded nationwide and has been adopted by MHS students wanting to participate in the protest. This year, it returns with several new and returning students participating.

“The silence can be more powerful than words,” freshman Miles Rowe, an ally to the LGBTQ+ community, said. “A lot of the time, words can come off as aggressive and violent. It can lead to people being afraid of you and what you have to say.”

Students participating are given a yellow card that explains why students won’t speak for the day and provides statistics highlighting the importance of their protest.

Ash Hollingsworth, sophomore, said she has experienced the statistics first hand at MHS.

“There are times when I physically feel uncomfortable coming to school because I know that not everyone is accepting,” Hollingsworth said. “It can be so overbearing to even try to come to school and always have that as a factor no matter where you go during the day.”

But she said the Day of Silence can be a powerful way for MHS to show others the struggles she and many others go through.

“Teenagers in today’s world are always moving, always talking, always doing something,” Hollingsworth said. “But by being silent, a lot of times that action speaks louder than words.”

Lauren Williams, MHS’ Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) sponsor, said the Day of Silence can be powerful for both spectators and participants to inspire change at MHS.

“Students have told me it’s really hard to be quiet for a whole day, but sometimes sitting with your thoughts makes you more aware and makes you question things and get some perspective,” Williams said. “There’s not a moment where you change one thing and the issue is gone. It’s more of a chipping away and a gradual change.”