National Day of Silence

National Day of Silence

Suffield’s Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA) sponsored the celebration of the National Day of Silence on April 8. The Day of Silence is a national student-led demonstration where students take a vow of silence for a day. The vow is intended to protest the harmful effects of harassment and discrimination of LGBTQ students. Nine in 10 LGBTQ students experience harassment nationwide, and one third miss school because they feel unsafe.

Co-leaders of the GSA Nate Morrin ’23 and Katya Yukovskaya ’22 explained the reasoning behind their participation in this important day. Nate said, “As someone who felt my true self silenced for over a decade because I was too scared to share my identity, Day of Silence is a day in which others finally understand the struggle I and many other LGBTQ youth experience. I participate in the Day of Silence in order to respect the millions of other LGBTQ students around the globe that incur the same, or worse, and show them that there is someone who sees them even if they are silenced by their peers, schools, and communities.” Katya echoed Nate's sentiments, saying, “The Day of Silence allows students of Suffield to recognize the LGBTQ+ people who have taken their lives due to bullying and harassment. The participants show their support for the LGBTQ+ community at Suffield and beyond, ensuring that the world becomes a more supportive place.”

GSA member Dominic Balise ’24 spoke to being an ally on the Day of Silence, saying, “Part of being a good ally is standing up for all LGBTQ+ individuals and using our privilege to protect LGBTQ lives and rights. By taking a vow of silence, we honor those people who are not here with us anymore, making a statement to other straight cisgender people about the necessity of uplifting LGBTQ+ people and their voices.” Another GSA member said, “To me, Day of Silence helps oppose anti-LGBTQIA groups and hate-crimes against queer people. For many years, most labels went unrecognized and even lately, many queer voices have been ignored, so days like these are important to remember the those that have been lost to that silencing and violence.”