Gay-Straight Alliance “Breaks the Silence”
A look into how Dunbar students spent their Day of Silence.
The annual Day of Silence on April 27 was celebrated at Dunbar by the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance chapter led by English teacher, Mrs. Amber Faris. This year, around 10 students participated, but not all made it through the day without speaking.
Since 1996, GLSEN sponsors the annual day of action to spread awareness about the effects of the bullying and harassment of LGBT students. As part of the action, students pledge to take a day-long vow of silence to symbolically represent the silencing of LGBTQ students.
“It was really hard,” said sophomore Lindsay Maystead.
After breaking the silence, another student, senior Lauren Maystead, said she made it through the day by writing all of her questions on a pad of paper and handing it to her teachers.
The group met in Mrs. Faris’ room and were joined by other staff members including school psychologist, Mr. Patrick Ballard, and art teacher, Ms. Sara Byers.
After counting down from five, everyone in the room “broke” their day long silence by screaming. It was a symbol of their success of the day. It was encouraging to see fellow students so determined to stay quiet for the whole day.
While enjoying snacks and refreshments, the students discussed the support they received from their peers and teachers. The support they received made them feel accepted.
“It felt nice knowing that I had a group of people who supported me and what I was doing,” Maystead said.
“Day of Silence is very important to me because I’m a part of the LGBTQ+ community, and I want all of our voices to be heard. For people to listen, even to the silence,” said senior Lauryn Maystead, who is Lindsay’s older sister.
After the group “scream,” club members checked-in–this is a time for the students to say their pronouns (she/her, he/him, they/them), and then share their experiences from the week.
Upcoming events in the Lexington LGBTQ+ community
Pride Prom for students ages 14-19 who are interested in celebrating their identity on 7:30-10:30 p.m. on May 4. The event is being held at the UUCL on 3564 Clays Mill Road. Admission is $5.
The 2018 Pride Festival will be held from 10 a.m.-11 p.m. on June 30. The festival will be at the Fayette Circuit Courthouse. Food trucks, vendors, kids activities, and two drag shows are only a few examples of things that will be experienced during the whole day of celebration.