April 25th – Day of Silence to honor Lawrence King

Update: Fight Out Loud produces video highlighting 2008 LGBTQ hate-killings
dos-2ndlogo.jpgFor the past eleven years the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) has organized the national Day of Silence demonstration against harassment (i.e. silencing) faced daily by many LGBT school kids.

This year’s Day of Silence, which will be on April 25th,  will be held in memory of Lawrence King, who friends say was murdered in a California school February 12 because of his sexual orientation and gender expression. The event brings attention to anti-LGBT bullying, harassment and discrimination in schools. Students observe the day in silence to echo the silence LGBT and ally students face every day.

From GLSEN:

On the heels of the Oxnard, CA murder of 8th grade student, Lawrence King, middle, high school and college campuses all over the country to be a little quieter. On Friday, April 25, 2008, students nationwide will be commemorating the 12th annual National Day of Silence. They will observe a daylong silence to protest the bullying, harassment and name-calling—in effect, the silencing—faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students and their allies in schools.

While this silence is often times used metaphorically to symbolize students’ lives, experiences and histories being invisible, the murder of Lawrence King, which occurred at school, represents a literal and absolute definition of this silence. According to friends, Lawrence was killed because of his sexual orientation and gender expression.

The Day of Silence, a project of GLSEN, will be held during school hours. Hundreds of thousands of students are expected to participate on April 18, many of whom will wear stickers and pass out ‘speaking cards’ that read:

“Please understand my reasons for not speaking today. I am participating in the Day of Silence, a national youth movement protesting the silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies in schools. My deliberate silence echoes that silence, which is caused by harassment, prejudice, and discrimination. I believe that ending the silence is the first step toward fighting these injustices. Think about the voices you are not hearing today. What are you going to do to end the silence?”

lawrence_king_08.jpg Also, drop by the Remembering Lawrence memorial.

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