One Year Later: The Importance of GLSEN’s Day of Silence
By Maverick Couch
Last year on GLSEN’s Day of Silence, I went to school wearing a T-shirt that read, “Jesus is Not a Homophobe.” The shirt is a representation of my identity – I’m gay. Wearing the shirt was a statement, yes. But at first, my school told me I wasn’t allowed to wear it, and threatened me with suspension if I did. So I did my research, contacted Lambda Legal, and with my mom’s support, I sued for the right to wear it. At the time, I don’t think I realized how big of a statement that was.
Every day, bullies call kids names and threaten them because they are different or because they are gay. The Day of Silence is like a protest – for one day of the year, we choose to be silent while in school to support students that have been affected by bullying. It’s a day when students can just be themselves and be comfortable. I’m so proud that I fought for my right to wear my T-shirt – hopefully it means that other kids now and in the future will be able to be themselves while at school.
This year on the Day of Silence, I’m going to wear the same T-shirt again. Before, the shirt was a way for me to state how I felt. Now, it means more. I fought for this. I don’t think one day has gone by that I don’t think about what happened, and the good that came from it. I stood up for myself and now other students don’t have to be afraid.