Day of Silence Brings Awareness of the LGBTQ Community

Last Friday, Northwood School participated in a Day of Silence to bring awareness to the LGBTQ community. This is an annual event nationwide and was organized at Northwood by Addie Castillo ‘21 and Ben DeGirolamo ‘21 as part of a class in Mrs. Carmichael’s ninth grade English class.  

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“Our motivation behind the project changed as we got closer to the due date of our assignment. Originally how we planned to take action was by creating a Twitter account. However, we realized we’d be one out of thousands of accounts. We wanted to take a larger action. We then spoke to Mr. Spear and he told us about GLSEN and their day of silence” said Addie Castillo.

Addie and Ben started this project after reading Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan in their ninth grade English class. The goal of this day is to highlight the silencing and erasure of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people in school. It is a student-led event that has been held annually since it began at the University of Virginia in 1996.

At Northwood, the event took place from morning until school meeting where Addie and Ben stood together and presented a silent display of facts and experiences behind the event. Following their presentation, all participating students and faculty met at the Victory Bell to break the silence. According to Castillo and DeGirolamo, approximately 30 students and faculty participated.

After reflecting on their project, Castillo stated “The Day of Silence to me is about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. It’s about taking a vow of silence to understand and experience what people in the LGBT community experience every day, as well as acknowledging that they are people who will be silenced forever due to their response to harassment and bullying. I was happy with the overall results. I would have been happy if only 5 people did it. Because I understand that it is difficult to be silent for 4 1/2 hours, but the fact that so many participated shocked me.”

More information about the Day of Silence can be found online here.

 

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