March 29, 2010

>Week 3 (March 29-April 2): Grow your Support
The more support you have, the more effective your event can be. Continue talking with teachers, students and community members about ways they can support your Day of Silence activities.

  • Educate: There are a lot of ways that your teachers can support the Day of Silence. Print out the Educators Guide and give it to teachers you think would be interested.
  • Find Community Support: It’s good to notify local supportive community groups of your events, especially if you’re holding a rally, training, or social to Break the Silence. Notify and, if applicable, invite community groups. Also, there are 30 local GLSEN Chapters across the country. Click here to find out if one is near you!
  • Cross it Off: It’s possible that there are a few items on your task list that didn’t get completed in the past few weeks. Take some time to make sure that everyone is taking care of their tasks.
  • Show Appreciation: It’s important to let your Team members know that you and others appreciate their work. Take some time during your weekly meeting to let everyone express their appreciation of their fellow teammates.
  • Schedule a Participant Meeting: This is for everyone who intends on participating in Day of Silence. This may be the same group as your Team of organizers, but if not, schedule a second meeting for next week so you can prepare students for DOS.
  • And don’t forget to schedule a Team meeting for next week!

If you have any questions or ideas, or if you want to tell us what you’re planning for your Day of Silence please email us at

And don't forget to join the conversation on the Day of Silence Facebook Page and @DayofSilence on Twitter.

March 29, 2010

>Order customized T-shirts here.

What's the best part of Day of Silence? Raising awareness about anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools, and encouraging others to take a stand for equality with you.

What's the second best part of Day of Silence? Fighting anti-LGBT discrimination and looking snazzy at the same time, of course!

Students, educators and supporters can order their Day of Silence t-shirts--and if they want to, customize the shirts to feature the name of their school, Gay-Straight Alliance or other student club. But, be sure to order them soon, so they reach you before the Day of Silence on April 16! The last day to order customized shirts is March 31 (this Wednesday).

The t-shirts are produced and sold by our friends at Nightsweats and T-Cells, a design and printing company in Cleveland, Ohio. Not only are they fantastic longtime supporters of the Day of Silence, but they do lots of great work raising awareness about LGBT rights and HIV/AIDS through clothing and other custom-made materials.

So, to recap: if you order Day of Silence t-shirts for you and your peers, you'll help to spread the message about the Day of Silence in your school and community, you'll be supporting an LGBT-friendly and socially aware company, and you'll look (even more) awesome on the Day of Silence. That's a win-win-win situation!

Just in case you missed it, the link to the t-shirt order form is here.

Don't forget--those who register for the Day of Silence online can receive free organizing and promotional materials, such as Day of Silence buttons, wristbands, stickers and message cards. (However, if you're so excited to get these items that you just can't wait, they're all available on the GLSEN online store!)

March 25, 2010

>We at GLSEN get a lot of questions about Day of Silence. Each week leading up to DOS we'll post the answer to a common question about organizing and participating in a Day of Silence event.

Why silence? Aren’t we trying to fight against silence?
A silent protest can be a peaceful way to bring urgent attention to an important issue. Silence as a method of organizing is much different than silence that is coerced or forced through oppressive bullying, harassment and intimidation. A silent protest is active, rather than passive, and causes people to pay attention. Silent demonstrations can:

  • Bring attention to an issue and encourage reflection on the issue;
  • Simulate the how others are silenced;
  • Focus the attention on the issue or cause and not the protestor;
  • Demonstrate that the demonstrators desire peaceful resolution;
  • Spark discussion and dialogue.

Through your active silence on the Day of Silence you will send a message that bullying and harassment faced by LGBT and ally youth affects you, your school and community.

And remember, the Day of Silence is a moment to open the conversation on this issue. Follow up your participation with a Breaking the Silence event. You can plan a rally at your school, facilitate a workshop for students and teachers about LGBT issues, throw a party with your GSA or host a discussion group with DOS participants—the sky’s the limit!

March 22, 2010

>Week 4 (March 22-26): Spread the Word

We’re only ONE MONTH away from Day of Silence! Now that you know what your DOS event is going to look like, it’s time to let everyone know. Split up outreach tasks among your team members so that you each can contribute to getting the word out.

  • Posters: Design posters to put up around school. Make sure to include the name of your club, the date of the event and contact info so people can get involved. And you can hold a party to design posters as a group.
  • Notify the Press: How do you tell the local news about your event? With a Press Release! Send a Press Release to your local newspaper, television and radio news channels. Check out the sample Press Release in the Day of Silence Organizing Manual to help.
  • Fundraising: Do you need money for supplies, promotional materials, DOS t-shirts? Begin fundraising by this week. Ask family members, businesses or community organizations for donations. You could plan a raffle or a bake sale.
  • Follow Up: At this point it’s probably good to start having short meetings with your DOS Team every week. Schedule a time where you call can follow-up on your tasks. Can’t meet in person? Set up Yahoo or AIM chat to keep in touch!
  • And don’t forget to schedule a Team meeting for next week!

If you have any questions or ideas, or if you want to tell us what you’re planning for your Day of Silence please email us at

And don't forget to join the conversation on the Day of Silence Facebook Page and @DayofSilence on Twitter.

March 21, 2010

>Great quote from Ewan McGregor regarding his new movie with Jim Carrey, I Love You Phillip Morris. McGregor and Carrey portray two men falling in love.

It is a reflection I guess on where we’re at that it’s such a big deal that it’s a love story between two gay men, like the idea of two men being in love is slightly shocking or almost taboo, it’s beyond me.
March 19, 2010

>As you may know, Constance is headed to DC this weekend to attend GLSEN's Safe Schools Advocacy Summit, where she'll meet with Student Non-Discrimination Act sponsor Rep. Jared Polis from Colorado.

Our friends at the American Civil Liberties Union LGBT Project (ACLU is representing Constance in her case to have prom reinstated) have set up a weekend action for people to show their support for Constance and the other students and community leaders attending SSAS.

March 19, 2010

>An appeals court in California recently ruled on a case of cyberbullying between private high school students, finding that the anti-gay sentiments and death threats that a group of students posted on a classmate's website were not protected by the First Amendment.

While the 15-year-old victim identifies as straight, six of his fellow students at Harvard-Westlake--an elite private high school in Los Angeles--targeted him for his perceived sexual orientation and proclaimed him a target, "wanted dead or alive." If that's supposed to be some sort of a joke, we're not laughing.

The student's parents pulled him out of school and moved to Northern California to protect their son, and filed a lawsuit against the bullies and their parents for violating their child's civil rights. While the defendants sought to qualify the comments as constitutionally protected under free speech rights, the appeals court ruled that the threats did not merit this protection. In other words, the original case against the bullies' families can move forward.

Hopefully, this case will serve as a reminder that any student, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression, can be hurt by anti-LGBT harassment--and that such bigotry and intolerance won't come without consequences. Do you think the courts were correct, in recognizing and upholding the difference between free speech and hate speech?

March 19, 2010

>Check out Constance on Ellen today. Thank you to the amazing folks at who presented Constance with a $30,000 college scholarship on the show via Ellen.

The site is about hope, and we can't help but be a little hopeful about the future after seeing all the positive reaction to Constance's case. The ACLU, which is representing Consance, has a good rundown of all the happenings to date.

Can't wait to meet Constance tomorrow at GLSEN's Safe Schools Advocacy Summit. Check out our Twitter page for updates throughout the day. And show your support for Constance on Facebook here.


March 18, 2010

>We at GLSEN get a lot of questions about Day of Silence. Each week leading up to DOS we'll post the answer to a common question about organizing and participating in a Day of Silence event.

I want to do Day of Silence at my school. Should I talk to teachers or the principal beforehand? How do I get permission from my school?

We recommend that students, GSAs and other student groups try to work with their school to obtain the proper permission to hold Day of Silence activities. Participation supported by the school has more impact and makes for a more fun Day of Silence for everyone. Talk early with your school’s administration. Offer the organizing materials from so they know more about the event. Provide them with your group’s ideas or plan for DOS. This can go a long way to assuring a fun and effective Day of Silence!

If you have a question about the Day of Silence email us at

March 17, 2010

>Cross-posted at

In yet another hopeful sign for the future, nearly two-thirds (65%) of college freshmen support same-sex marriage, according to new data released by the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Over all, 65 percent of the college freshmen surveyed last fall supported same-sex marriage, compared with 58 percent of Americans 18 to 29 years old and 39 percent of the population nationwide, according to the Pew research groups' study.

Support for gay marriage has increased generally in the past decade. In 2000, 56 percent of entering college students backed it. Four years later, freshmen were 57 percent supportive at the time they enrolled, and by graduation, 69 percent of that entering class supported gay marriage, according to the UCLA research institute.

While a number of factors probably contribute, the rise of Gay-Straight Alliances over that time (more than 4,000 are registered with GLSEN today compared to 1,000 in 2001) has almost certainly had an impact.

The National Day of Silence is perhaps even more important. Hundreds of thousands of students coming together every year across the country to raise awareness of anti-LGBT bullying has almost certainly led more people to the belief that every person deserves to be treated with the same dignity and respect.

This year's Day of Silence is less than a month away. Join us on April 16 as students help spread a message of respect for all. Be a fan of the official Day of Silence Facebook page for updates on how you can show your support, even if you're not in school.

What are you going to do to end the silence?


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