The largest online gathering of LGBT+ youth in history could be tonight

The largest online gathering of LGBT+ youth in history could be tonight
Students taking part in a GLSEN Day of Silence event in Philadelphia.

Organizers of the 25th Day of Silence hope to achieve the biggest online gathering of LGBT+ youth in history this evening.

The annual student-led event protests the silencing and erasure of young LGBT+ people. Last year, nearly 8,000 ‘GSA’ groups – LGBT+ and ally groups in US schools – took part.

This year, organizers have taken the event online. And they are expecting the virtual rally when they ‘break the silence’ to be massive.

For the last quarter century, students have marked the event by taking a day-long vow of silence.

This year, that’s been turned into social media campaigns and virtual meetings to connect and empower LGBT+ youth.

And they’ve been encouraging young people to record a silent video. They’ve also called on young people to share their cooking, make-up, art, music, poetry and dance skills online to mark the day.

Breaking the silence

Despite the day being 25 years old, LGBT+ students still face problems in schools.

Four in five LGBT+ students don’t see positive LGBT+ representation in their curriculum. Moreover eight in 10 experience anti-LGBTQ verbal harassment. Meanwhile over a third miss school for feeling unsafe or uncomfortable. 

LGBT+ education charity GLSEN runs the Day of Silence. Its deputy executive director Melanie Willingham-Jaggers said:

The Day of Silence is the largest LGBTQ student led day of action. In the midst of cancelling so many events that youth have felt were a “rite of passage”, this is something we can still deliver. The message is still relevant and still necessary, LGBTQ students belong.’

You can join the rally to break the silence here at 5.30pm ET today (24 April).

It will feature March For Our Lives founder Emma González and Queer Eye’s Tan France as special guests.

The rally will also kick off a campaign to register and pre-register LGBT+ students to vote. The campaign will run up to the US national elections in November.

GLSEN's National Student Council.
GLSEN’s National Student Council. GLSEN

Stay connected

Meanwhile GLSEN is also encouraging young LGBT+ people to stay connected throughout the pandemic lockdown.

They suggest using gaming apps like House Party, jumping on a Zoom or Google Hangouts call with their GSN. Or people can organize to watch a movie together as a Netflix party.

They also suggest individuals send texts or calls. In particular calling a transgender person by their name can be invaluable if they live in an unsupportive home.

Willingham-Jaggers said:

‘I personally think the individual check ins are really helpful in connecting with others and having that chance to hold space for one another.

‘It is crucial for LGBTQ youth to stay connected, GSAs or LGBTQ clubs at schools were a critical space for many students.’

[Syndicated Content]

Published on GayStarNews Read the original article

Author: Tris Reid-Smith

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