Club Corner: GSA sends “loud” message on national Day of Silence

BREAKING THE SILENCE: On stage at Jamnesty, Emily Leonard, Gay Straight Alliance co-president, emphasizes acceptance. The night after the national Day of Silence is called

Marley Hambourger

BREAKING THE SILENCE: On stage at Jamnesty, Emily Leonard, Gay Straight Alliance co-president, emphasizes acceptance. The night after the national Day of Silence is called "Night of Noise," during which participants are encouraged to be as loud as possible.

Amanda Angulo, staff writer

South’s Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Club celebrated the national Day of Silence, a day during which participants remain silent to support the LGBTQ community, on April 11.

According to GSA sponsor Cheryl Hope, this day was created to symbolize the forced silence others have to endure for years.

“It’s happening I think less and less but there are still many people who don’t feel comfortable about coming out,” Hope said. “It’s a symbolic day, sort of honoring the people.”
Senior Janna Lyhus now acknowledges the difficulty of maintaining silence and welcomes the lessons learned from the day.

“It’s such a challenge, I think that’s what interested me the most,” Lyhus said. “It gave me an appreciation to communicate by speaking. I think silence is loud. Bringing voice to those people who were bullied and committed suicide and took that action, I think it’s a really effective thing even if only a few people participate in it.”

Freshman Eli Mitchell said even taking notice of other’s silence brings awareness of the cause.

“It’s a way of using your silence as a way to speak, because then it reaches more people in a different way than they would expect,” Mitchell said. “You want to get noticed that you’re being silent, because people begin to notice why you’re silent and you can show them that it’s a part of LGBTQ awareness. It’s a very different way of looking at the world.”
GSA Co-president Emily Leonard hopes to spread the word of Day of Silence so that in the future, it is no longer needed.

“I really hope that we don’t have to do Day of Silence anymore in a few years,” Leonard said. “I don’t want there to be people who still feel [so] unsafe and unloved as who they are that they just can’t say it. I feel like eventually we won’t have to do it, but right now, I want as many people as possible to participate in GBS.”