The LGBTQ+ International Day of Silence is an annual event done in April to call attention to the discrimination, harassment, and bullying that LGBTQ+ individuals endure. For those who are silenced or marginalised because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, it is a day for solidarity and support.
The Day of Silence is being observed this year on April 14, 2023.
When GLSEN (pronounced “glisten”) initially organised the Day of Silence in 1996, they did so to highlight the prejudice and bullying that LGBTQ+ students experienced on campus. Since then, it has developed into a worldwide movement, with thousands of students and supporters taking part in the day of silence all around the world.
The Day of Silence’s basic premise is straightforward. Participants promise to keep quiet for the duration of the event, symbolising the suppression and suffocation of LGBTQ+ people by prejudice and hate. The silence is intended to serve as a reminder of the voices that go unheard frequently and the problems that LGBTQ+ people deal with on a daily basis.
The Day of Silence is a significant occasion because it brings attention to the problems that LGBTQ+ people encounter. More than 80% of LGBTQ+ students reported verbal harassment, 35% reported physical harassment, and 12% reported physical assault due of their sexual orientation or gender identity, according to a study by the Human Rights Campaign. These startling figures demonstrate the severe prejudice and harassment that LGBTQ+ people experience.
Individuals can express their support for the LGBTQ+ community on the Day of Silence. Individuals are sending a potent message of support and solidarity to those who are silenced by prejudice and hatred by taking part in the day of silence.
On April 14, 2023, participants must keep silent for a full twenty-four hours. Prepare yourself. A notepad and pen, or some other form of nonverbal communication tool, should be in your possession. You’ll find a pre-made flashcard useful to justify your silence during the day.
There are many methods for people to assist the LGBTQ+ community besides taking part in the day of quiet. To learn more about the problems that LGBTQ+ people encounter is one way. Attending events that highlight LGBTQ+ problems and reading books or articles on LGBTQ+ rights can help.
Speaking out against prejudice and hatred is another method to demonstrate solidarity. Speak up and let the offender know that their behaviour is inappropriate if you see prejudice or hatred directed towards an LGBTQ+ person. You can contribute to making the environment for LGBTQ+ people safer and more inclusive by speaking out against discrimination.
The LGBTQ+ International Day of Silence is a significant occasion that brings attention to the prejudice, harassment, and bullying that LGBTQ+ people experience. People can contribute to the development of a more inclusive and welcoming society for all by taking part in the day of silence and demonstrating their support for the LGBTQ+ community.
Books that touch on LGBTQ+ harassment and bullying
Caution: Some of the books on this list come with intense trigger warnings. Reader discretion is advised.
Check out our review of Here the Whole Time by Vitor Martins!
What can you do on the International Day of Silence?
Discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community is still prevalent in many parts of the world. However, there are various ways individuals can help put an end to this injustice. Here, we will explore some of the ways people can help eradicate LGBTQ+ discrimination.
- Educate yourself about LGBTQ+ issues
One of the best ways to help fight LGBTQ+ discrimination is by educating yourself about the issues that the community faces. By learning about LGBTQ+ rights, you can become a more effective advocate and ally. Attend workshops, read books or articles, and follow organizations and individuals on social media who focus on LGBTQ+ issues.
- Speak out against discrimination
If you witness discrimination or hate towards an LGBTQ+ individual, speak up and let the person know that their behavior is unacceptable. By speaking out against discrimination, you can help create a safer and more inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ individuals.
- Support LGBTQ+ organisations
There are numerous organisations dedicated to supporting and advocating for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. Consider donating to these organisations or volunteering your time to support their cause. Organisations such as the Human Rights Campaign and GLAAD work tirelessly to promote LGBTQ+ rights and are always in need of support, as well as GLSEN.
- Vote for LGBTQ+ friendly policies and candidates
It is essential to vote for candidates who support LGBTQ+ rights and policies. By supporting lawmakers who are working to enact LGBTQ+ friendly legislation, you can help make a positive impact on the community’s lives.
- Attend Pride events and celebrations
Attending Pride events and celebrations is an excellent way to show your support for the LGBTQ+ community. These events are usually held to celebrate the community’s diversity and achievements while also raising awareness about the issues that the community faces.
- Be an ally
Being an ally means being supportive of the LGBTQ+ community, even if you are not a member yourself. You can be an ally by using inclusive language, standing up against bigotry, and supporting LGBTQ+ friends and family members.
Ending discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community requires a collective effort. By educating ourselves, speaking out, supporting organisations, voting for LGBTQ+ friendly policies and candidates, attending Pride events, and being an ally, we can help create a more inclusive and accepting society for everyone.
The future will only happen when you make it.