By Rachel Kish
This year, April 21 was the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network’s (GLSEN) “Day of Silence.” “Day of Silence” is a day of action that aims to spread awareness about the effects of bullying of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) students. During the “Day of Silence,” some members of the LGBTQ community, and allies alike, take a vow not to speak. In taking this vow, the silencing of LGBTQ students is represented symbolically.
The first ever “Day of Silence” took place in 1996; now the “Day of Silence” happens annually, and many students at different schools and universities across the country participate by remaining silent for 24 hours. It may seem trivial, but many LGBTQ students in both high school and college feel that their lives are worthless; suicide is the third leading cause of death among 15 to 24-year-olds who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, according to The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ young people ages 13-24. Judging by the numbers, LGBTQ people are four times more likely to commit suicide than their heterosexual peers.
“Day of Silence” isn’t for everyone, but its message definitely is. Llisten to what your LGBTQ friends, neighbors, and acquaintances have to say. Let them know that they are cared for, loved, appreciated, and most importantly, that they matter.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide and would like support, here are some potentially helpful resources:
Trevor Lifeline: (866)488-7386
re:solve Crisis Network: (888)796-8226
LGBT Hotline: 1-888-843-4564
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Youth Talkline: 1-800-246-7743
Featured image courtesy of Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN).
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