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April 15th – Day of Silence

April 25, 2011

Our high school Gay Straight Alliance club, one of the clubs I sponsor, observed the “Day of Silence” April 15th.  Our school has 720 students and approximately 50 students and staff were silent for the entire school day.  This day is observed every April 15th as a show of support for Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, Bisexual, and Questioning students who can’t or won’t “come out” for fear of bullying and other forms of non-support.  The GSA at our high school has 30 members who mostly identify as “straight” but support the efforts of the Gay community in their efforts for equality.  I was very proud of the group who struggled through the day quietly.  My silence was also in support of people who live with HIV everyday and have to remain silent whether they are Gay or Straight.  Teaching classes silently had moments of frustration for me especially as I love conversing with students.  We had an after party at the end of the school day with food, conversations around the experience and then watched video clips from the 1980’s Whoopie Goldberg tour – she in character as a junkie, a small girl with a white shirt on her head (her long blonde hair), and a couple of other clips that weren’t too racy to show high school students.  We discussed perceptions people have of others who appear different and how the idea of “normal” fits in the high school experience.  The discussion was lively, interesting and powerful.  We had students from another local high school and two middle schools who are interested in starting their own GSA.  We are sharing the love!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 26, 2011 9:45 am

    CONGRATULATIONS to you and your school! What a powerful statement you made with your SILENCE. I have had HIV for 27 years and I thank each of you for acing on my behalf. peace Gisele

    • Slieh permalink
      April 28, 2011 4:06 am

      Hi Gisele .

      I couldn’t help but read your posting for the 26th April 2011, I have been living with HIV for the last 4 years and I always wonder how long will it take to erode my body .Im a mother of 3 and I sometimes want to cry when I wonder if ill see my kids into their adult life , they are negative and I’m in South Africa already on treatment I feel fine despite the daily thoughts of the fact that my blood is no longer superior, I have this dreaded disease running in my veins.

  2. ashanti permalink
    April 26, 2011 11:51 am

    brilliant idea! love it!

  3. April 28, 2011 11:10 am

    Dear Slieh; I too prayed and prayed that I live long enough to see my children grow.
    Now, they are, 36,35 and 26 years old. Keep nurturing and loving, don’t let HIV mess with your heart. You are a good person and good things are waiting for you. I hold you in my heart and in my prayers. peace and courage, Gisele

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