Day of Silence, students protest LGBT bullying

Image by Tony Webster, courtesy of Creative Commons

Written by Sudyen Navarrete/Staff Writer

In protest against bullying and harassment to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Ally community, students across the country will remain in silence.

A nationally celebrated event, Day of Silence encourages people to peacefully promote anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools as a way to call attention to these issues. In support of the protest, the Biscayne Bay Campus Multicultural Programs & Services LGBTQA Initiatives will host Day of Silence Thursday, April 16.

“We want to support awareness for LGBT education,” said Edwin Serrano, a graduate student for BBC MPAS, “and for those whom have always been silenced and pushed back into the closet.”

Serrano referred to how LGBTQA students are quiet to share their sexuality and gender identity in fear of discrimination and lack of support.

Day of Silence began with a group of students from the University of Virginia who wanted to promote a safer environment for the community. It is, however, commemorated on April 17.

Serrano said that the LGBTQA Initiatives will hand out “speaking cards” to students who choose to remain silent during a timespan of eight hours.

According to the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, students have the right to participate and remain silent, but if during class they are asked to speak, they cannot refuse. It says students should alert their professors to prevent misunderstandings.


Image by Krono Lescano/FIUSM Staff

The speaking cards will serve as a way for others to acknowledge student participants and their support for the LGBTQA community.

Serrano said the LGBTQA Initiatives focuses on serving everyone on campus — straight, lesbian or gay. He also said it aims to bring together FIU alumni to provide more visibility of LGBTQA students on campus.

Vanessa Cuadros, a junior broadcast media major, said all students have the right to identify themselves as whatever gender.

“I do think several FIU students are accepting towards LGBT,” Cuadros said. “I believe everyone has a right to be with who they want, regardless of their gender,” she said.

Franklin Pineda, a senior criminal justice major, said he too supports LGBTQA students and acknowledges the University’s participation in supporting them.

“I support them, and I’d remain silent to show it,” Pineda said. “I do think FIU is supportive, even students. There’s also clubs and organizations for them to education people around campus,” he said.

According to the LGBTQA Initiatives website, the program provides a safe zone by offering mentorship programs, student counseling, advise student groups and scholarships. It also promotes awareness by reaching out to the community by participating in off-campus events and by offering workshops.

Day of Silence will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the BBC Panther Square. There will be photo props for students to take pictures with and to show that they support the act of silence.

At the end of the event, students will scream for ice cream to finally break from the silence and have free ice cream in celebration.

The Modesto A. Maidique Campus will also host Day of Silence Friday, April 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Graham Center Pit. Students will also be provided with the speaking cards, crafts, t-shirts and information.

RSVP for the event can be found in the program’s website,

“Students can make bracelets, get t-shirts and learn about how long LGBTs have been silenced for years,” Serrano said.

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