Day of Silence gives LGBTQ+ a voice

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Day of Silence gives LGBTQ+ a voice

Ava Manelis, Staff Writer

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For one LFHS student, eighth grade was the starting point on a long journey of coming out to the community. She first came out to her sister and a few close friends, and in the next few years has become a lot more open about her identity.

Despite this, it’s still challenging for her to come out, as some people in her life, like her dad, force her to stay silent about her true identity. She says her dad is very against the LGBTQ+ community, and she feels as if she can’t come out to him. Because of this, The Forest Scout has agreed to keep her name anonymous.

She said she is participating in today’s Day of Silence because she wanted “to give a voice to all the students who get bullied in schools less accepting than ours, and even to the LGBTQ+ students here …”

Today’s National Day of Silence allows students across the country to stay silent for an entire school day to support the silence that the LGBTQ+ community feels they must keep, and to stand up against the discrimination of those students.

Today’s society seems generally more accepting of LGBTQ+ people, as more and more people openly express their true identities and celebrities use their platforms to speak out in support of the LGBTQ+ community. On the same page, LFHS seems like an accepting place where LGBTQ+ students are welcomed with open arms and “ally” posters are on many of classroom doors.

The National Day of Silence gives those students a voice, without having them speak one word at all.”

— Ava Manelis

But for many students, our school is still a place where they feel different and alone, and this can create a closed-off environment. They must overcome many obstacles as a part of the LGBTQ+ community, and oftentimes, remaining silent is the easiest option for those students.

Many students feel the need to silence their true identity and live in quiet, but this shouldn’t have to happen. The National Day of Silence gives those students a voice, without having them speak one word at all. It allows for them, as well as their allies, to show the whole school the silencing effect that the LGBTQ+ community faces everyday.

“Tomorrow I just want people to recognize the scale of what is affecting LGBTQ+ students on a daily basis,” said one student. “I also hope this opens some students’ eyes to the consequences of their actions and how it makes others feel.”

Whether you are participating in the Day of Silence or not, it’s important to step back and realize how our actions can create such an effect on people. One’s actions may seem like no big deal, but have a strong silencing effect on others. A derogatory slur under your breath or a homophobic joke to your friend may seem harmless, but you never know how it will affect the person standing next to you.

Let’s make LFHS an accepting place for all to live, love, and learn in. If you’re participating today or not, try to make it your goal today to spread happiness and love wherever you can.