Skip to Main Content

Triton College Library Website: Library Blog

Day of Silence

by River Seiler on 2023-04-10T08:00:00-05:00 | 0 Comments

Hi friends!

Today we're celebrating the Day of Silence. The Day of Silence is a student-led demonstration to bring awareness to LGBTQIA+ discrimination and harassment in the school setting. This year, the Day of Silence falls on Friday, April 14th. The Day of Silence is held annually on the second Friday of April.

History of the Day of Silence

The Day of Silence was created in 1996 by a University of Virginia student, Maria Pulzetti (National Today). Pulzetti felt that the concerns of LGBTQIA+ youth "were falling on deaf ears" and being ignored by family, friends, and school administrators (National Today). Pulzetti created the Day of Silence as an event to "promote awareness amongst those who might not have been tuned into these issues, by surrounding them with a silence they couldn't help but notice" (National Today). Just one year later, over 100 institutions participated in the Day of Silence.

In 2000, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) adopted the Day of Silence as one of their official projects.

At the end of the Day of Silence, "the silence is typically broken with a rally or speaking event." Today, the Day of Silence has over 10,000 institutions registered as official participants, and students and educators from colleges and universities to junior high and high schools, participate.

What Can We Do About LGBTQIA+ Discrimination in Education?

If you're a student, you might feel stumped about how to offer your support to your LGBTQIA+ friends and classmates, or how to get help if you're facing discrimination yourself. According to the ACLU, your first step should be to document everything. Documentation can help when you're trying to get these issues addressed. When you go to school officials with the documentation of this discrimination, make sure you don't go alone. If you have a friend who's been dealing with these issues, offer to go with them.

As a student, another way you can help is by being aware of your language when talking with your classmates. Make sure to use someone's preferred pronouns and stand up for your friends or classmates if someone says something discriminatory. Being vocal and making sure your LGBTQIA+ friends and classmates know they have an ally in the room is a great way to be supportive.

For educators, being mindful of language is also important. Taking care in how you discuss LGBTQIA+ topics and making sure to use your students' preferred pronouns is a great way to show your support both in the classroom and in your office hours. You can also add your own pronouns in your e-mail signature to subtly let students know that you support your LGBTQIA+ students and colleagues. 

For more information on how you can handle LGBTQIA+ discrimination and harassment in schools, check out the ACLU's guide "LGBT Students: What To Do If You Face Harassment At School" and the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Education's guide on Confronting Anti-LGBTQI+ Harassment in Schools. You can also check out additional resources listed below!

How to Participate

You can register as an official participant in the Day of Silence with GLSEN. You can also participate in the Day of Silence without registering, using your silence to share your support with the LGBTQIA+ community. Don't forget to break your silence at the end of the day! You can join GLSEN's virtual assembly to break the silence by registering, or you can gather with other participants and talk about LGBTQIA+ issues.

Recommended Reading

Book Recommendations


For more reading recommendations, check out Brown University's Queer Theory Reading List!

Thanks for reading! We hope to see you in the Library again soon!

 Add a Comment



Enter your e-mail address to receive notifications of new posts by e-mail.


  Return to Blog
This post is closed for further discussion.