GSA participates in Day of Silence


Madeline Sanders

Junior Shivani Radhakrishnan chose to be a part of the day of silence despite not being a member of Lovejoy GSA.

Nnenna Nchege, Staff Writer

In an effort to highlight the silencing of LGBTQ students in school,  Lovejoy Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) is participating in GLSEN ’s Day of Silence.

Members gathered in the choir room before school to prepare for the day of silence. All students, including non-members, are welcome to participate in the silent protest.

It’s the fourth annual Day of Silence, an estimated 25 students have chosen to participate. The day is headed by senior Co-President Sylvia Hansen and Devyn Veitch.

“It’s a nationwide [event] that we chose to participate in every year to hopefully make a difference and make people notice how many LGBTQ students don’t feel safe at school,” Hansen said.

Hansen also said this day helps energize the club.

“[Our club] is pretty small so sometimes it feels like no one knows we’re here, but today it’s really nice to see people outside the club participating and the support from other teachers and students.”

Junior Shivani Radhakrishnan isn’t an official member of GSA, but she said she is committed to the cause of the event.

“As someone who is rarely silent, it was a struggle [to remain silent,] but keeping in mind why I’m doing this and the weight of the problem is helping me remember to be silent,” Radhakrishnan said.

Veitch said today’s day of silence forces GSA members to “check their privilege.”

“Although Lucas is a very conservative town, our administration is very accepting and good with homophobia and bullying situations, but most schools aren’t,” Veitch said. “In addition, this day has notoriously been the day that GSA and its members get the most backlash, and so dealing with that has been one of our biggest struggles over the years.”

Radhakrishnan said she has witnessed students being harassed at school because of their sexuality.

“Even an ignorant remark like ‘that’s so gay’ used as an insult can hurt,” Radhakrishnan said. “Personally, a lot of my friends are LGBTQ, and I can’t imagine what they go through when people can’t accept them for who they are. Acceptance is not too much to ask for.”

Senior Kiersten Esposito thinks it’s the day of silence is important because it sparks a  conversation about a big issue.

“Often times, when people read our signs they’re always shocked by the statistics that are brought to their attention,” Esposito said. “We hope that by doing this, the school will be more aware and kinder today but more importantly we hope this makes them think about being kinder in their lives.”