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National Day of Silence: Why We Won’t Talk

Tatiana Dragun and Jaiyana Khan

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The erasure of LGBTQ students in schools is something that should be recognized and dealt with. What exactly is the erasure of LGBTQ? It’s when people in the LGBTQ community aren’t accepted or don’t feel validated regarding their sexual orientation or gender identity. Often times people don’t consider different sexualities or genders to be “real,” as if people in the community are faking it or speaking falsely. They are put down for their sexuality or gender, which can make them feel bad about being who they are. This is LGBTQ erasure. Raising awareness is important in creating acceptance for LGBTQ students who may feel silenced when it comes to their sexualities or gender identities.

In this case, it’s the silence that speaks louder than words.”

LGBTQ is an acronym that stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer. Though there are many more terms, such as demisexual and asexual, these are the main ones. Students who identify with these terms are often looked at or treated differently because of who they are. According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, “More than 75 percent of transgender youth report feeling unsafe at school.” Transgender people and others in the community are frequently bullied, harassed, and told that what they are feeling isn’t real or true.

Many schools don’t even recognize the fact that some students are LGBTQ and get treated unfairly for it, bullied, and in some cases even abused. This makes it harder for students within the LGBTQ community and furthers their struggle in being accepted at school.

This also occurs in Westport. The town is still a good place, but that doesn’t mean it is immune to the negative treatment of the LGBTQ community. There are people who make bad comments or make fun of LGBTQ. That’s what this day is for.

So, what is the National Day of Silence and what does it aim to accomplish? Students can volunteer to stay silent and not speak during this day, which is on April 27 this year. The absence of their words represent the erasure LGBTQ students have experienced within a school environment. Staying silent also aims to bring up the effects of students getting treated badly in school and to raise awareness that students do in fact get treated unfairly.

In this case, it’s the silence that speaks louder than words.

We participate in this to show our acknowledgement and respect towards those who have suffered or are suffering due to people not recognizing their sexualities or gender identities. That includes us. There are some people at Bedford who treat their peers differently just because they think that we are not ¨normal.”

Sometimes people make ignorant comments, such as saying that liking the same sex is disgusting, there are only two genders, and that being bisexual, which is liking two or more genders, excludes other genders, because “bi” means “two.” We are tired of people treating us and thinking of us differently. We want our voices to be heard, and if not saying anything at all is the way to do that, then so be it.

This day is a meaningful event for LGBTQ students who choose to participate, because it is an opportunity for them to express themselves and convey a message that they may not be able to in words. It is also a great way to portray what we feel because it’s not something LGBTQ people can often convey in a regular conversation, or publicize in any way.

 

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National Day of Silence: Why We Won’t Talk