National Day of Silence increases in participation

Participants commemorate members of the LGBTQ+ community


Ruby Stillman

GSA president sophomore Dayna Krause and sophomore Ben Brian stand holding a white board, their only means of communication April 28. They were two of many participants from Park.

Confining his means of communication to a whiteboard, sophomore Ben Bryan said he participated in the Day of Silence April 27 to display his support for the LGBTQ+ community.

“I chose to participate because I understand what it’s like to feel as though you don’t have a voice in terms of your sexuality. That’s hard enough, and all the other traumatic events that people have to go through from being themselves are equally unjustifiable,” Bryan said. “I wanted to show everyone that this is an important cause to me.”

Art teacher Martha Ortman said she noticed multiple students in her classes take a vow of silence, prompting her to ask questions about the Day of Silence.

“I’ve heard of it before. I think I had six students today that were doing it,” Ortman said. “I asked a couple questions like ‘Could it do it?’ or ‘Do I have to be a member of the LBGTQ+?’ and they were like ‘no anybody can do it’.”

GSA co-president Dayna Krause said students remained silent in memory of LGBTQ+ students who lack representation.

“It’s a national movement of students saying silent because LGBT students don’t get much representation in school and many of them deal with verbal harassment,” Krause said.

According to Krause, the Gender Sexual Alliance club (GSA) recently met to discuss the Day of Silence and inform members about the logistics of partaking in a vow of silence throughout a school day.  

“Recently in GSA we spoke about Day of Silence, what it is, why we do it and how we participate,” Krause said. “We also had to prepare for people attempting to get us to speak and we had to advise our teachers beforehand that we wouldn’t be speaking.”

Sophomoore Yoni Potter, who participated in Day of Silence for his first time, said he has received many positive responses from people throughout the day.

“People I have met so far today have been respectful and understanding, and also patient,” Potter said.

Ortman said she hopes for more students to participate in a vow of silence in the future to help create more conversation regarding the transgender community.

“I think more students should do it so it’s more widely recognized as opposed to ‘What’s this person doing?’, because if more students would do it, more attention would be brought to it and then more people would be talking about it,” Ortman said.

Bryan said he recommends anyone interested to join in Day of Silence or to at least be mindful of queer and transgender peoples’ experiences.

“If anyone were to consider participating in the Day of Silence, I would definitely recommend,” Bryan said.  “It’s a powerful message and shows strength and restraint. Even if you don’t participate, you must understand what’s happening to queer and trans people.”