Day of Silence raises awareness for LGBTQ+


Kino Sanchez, Ana Avila and Izzy Valdez participated in the Day of Silence on Friday, April 22, 2022 to advocate for LGBTQ+ students. “What this day means is a day where I can help students feel more comfortable talking about their experiences with bullying because I was bullied myself for being gay,” Valdez said.

On Friday, April 22, members of the LGTBQ+ community and its allies participated in The Day of Silence. The Day of Silence is a day where people in the LGBTQ+ community, and their supporters go a day without speaking to bring awareness against the bullying that takes place against the community. 

In 1996, Maria Pulzetti noticed that LGBTQ+ issues were being silenced and pushed to the side by their peers, so she created this day with some of her classmates at the University of Virginia. Originally, It was supposed to be a one time thing for a class project about non violent protests. This day took place in Pride Week, and students taped their mouths to represent how they were silenced. A year later it became national, with 100 high schools and colleges participating across the country. 

This important day in LGBTQ+ history has been talked about here at Alisal by the Be Yourself Club teacher Ms. Gallardo. “It started as a way to bring awareness towards the LGBTQ+ community since queer peoples struggles were ignored and pushed to the side. It is important to participate because it educates kids about gay history.”

People taking part in the day walk around with tape over their mask or mouth, with a board with paper explaining that they were participating in the Day of Silence. 

Ana Avila, Izzy Valdez and Kino Sanchez participated this year. “I decided to participate because I have been bullied for being gay and I feel like it can make LGBTQ+ students feel more comfortable in themselves,” Valdez said. “Its good to show support because queer students are still silenced everyday.” 

Avila said, “I decided to participate because it’s important to bring awareness to the LGBTQ+ community because they are still being silenced today.”

Sanchez felt it was important to participate to raise awareness. “I think it’s important because it makes more queer students feel safe and it creates a safer emviorment.” 

In a environment where most teachers and students are supporting of LGBTQ+ students, reactions ranged from understanding to ignorant. “Lucky for me most people took me seriously,” Sanchez said. “They were mostly confused if anything, but with the explanation paper they understood and supported.”  Avila had mixed reactions. “I have understanding teachers, so all of them took me seriously and supported me, but as for my straight peers they didn’t and were trying to make me talk and saw it as a joke and some just didn’t even notice,” she said. “Many people had many reactions most in which were confusion as they never heard of the day” Valdez said. “I heard classmates ask my partner in class why I wasn’t talking and such, although there were some who thought it was funny and tried to make me talk,” she said. 

 This day can impact queer students who are not out yet or simply don’t feel comfortable enough with their identity. It can create a safe environment for them to feel supported and like they aren’t alone. Bullying against queer kids is usually silenced and pushed aside since its hard to open up about something you feel like no one will understand. Once you create a safe space for those kids being affected it makes it much easier, and that’s why the Day of Silence is important. “What this day means is a day where I can help students feel more comfortable talking about their experiences with bullying because I was bullied myself for being gay,” Valdez said.