On April 21st, PFLAG National will participate with GLSEN--our #ClaimYourRights partners--in the National Day of Silence (DOS), a day of action in which students across the country vow to take a form of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBTQ bullying and harassment in schools.
Founded in 1996, DOS has become the largest single student-led action towards creating safer schools for all students, inclusive of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. From the first-ever DOS at the University of Virginia to the organizing efforts in thousands of middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities across the country, its history reflects its diversity in both numbers and reach. Sadly, as DOS has continued to grow over the years, opponents to LGBTQ equality and affirmation have purposely confused the mission and goals of the action. Click here for accurate information about DOS and the action.
Organizing a DOS activity or event can be a positive tool for change. And now, more than ever LGBTQ students--especially trans and gender-expansive students--need their classmate allies with them. Making a promise to be silent for the day is a powerful action in the face of bullying not just by other students, but by legislators in the form of hundreds of anti-trans and anti-LGBTQ bills that are being considered across the country. It is simple for students and GSAs to start Day of Silence actions at their schools: click here to register your school today! If at any time, a student feels that their right to organize is being violated, Lambda Legal has lots of information on their website about how youth can protect themselves. And of course, to learn more about how to #ClaimYourRights year round, visit pflag.org/claimyourrights.
PFLAG chapters can support local GSAs and students in their Day of Silence efforts, especially through social media. You can change your Facebook and Twitter images, or follow the PFLAG National lead and silence your social media feeds for the day, then break the silence with coverage of what your local schools did to honor the day! You can also support local GSAs by making sure they have access to crucial resources, shared here.
We’re proud to stand with our partners at GLSEN, as well as students, educators, and others across the country, participating in the 2017 Day of Silence. To learn more and stay connected, visit https://www.facebook.com/NationalDayofSilence/ or follow @DayofSilence on Twitter.