Together, We Can Break the Silence
Content Warning: Bullying, Slurs
It was a new school, a whole new hallway to get used to. Stuck with online learning due to COVID-19 for a year, the noisy, clustered hallway seemed out of place. I still remember my outfit that day:white straight-legged jeans and an oversize white t-shirt with some designs on the back. I picked a pair of sneakers with vibrating colors to have a piece of clothing stand out, and my hair was tied back. Being Eastern Asian in a white-dominated school makes me stand out. Still, dressing gender-neutral and embracing my sexual orientation makes me stand out more within this conservative school of mine. A group of boys, four, were walking towards me in the hallway. I did not know if it was the ambience I gave off or my outfit of the day, but I was called a slur, and certain aggressive remarks were made about me. I yelled back, and defended myself, but that feeling of emptiness and helplessness remained.
Within the newest data from GLSEN School Climate Survey, LGBTQ+ students who were surveyed, 81.8% of LGBTQ+ students in the survey reported feeling unsafe in school because of at least one of their actual or perceived personal characteristics. And the data doesn't end there unfortunately. (for more data, please visit link) The sense of helplessness, sympathy, and empathy bring us, LGBTQ+ students, to solidarity to fight back and voice our anger towards this unfair treatment. And that is the importance of the Day of Silence. We have no choice in our sexual orientation, gender and so many personal indicating factors, so why should any one deserve to be shamed for being themselves. But this fight can not be done on our own, we need the support of everyone and allies. So please join us and fight this unfair battle. Please speak up for us, share our stories, and let our voices be heard. It may take time and effort, but if this can make one child feel easier being themselves, then it is all worth it.
Written by Mary, National Student Council Member