The Day of Silence, celebrated annually across the United States, is a youth-run initiative intended to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools. Youth and adult allies participating in the Day of Silence take a vow to remain silent throughout the designated day, this year scheduled for Friday, April 20th.
Locally, youth from Gay-Straight Alliance clubs in south county high schools, including Dos Pueblos, Santa Barbara High, San Marcos, and La Cuesta, will mark the day with a variety of events throughout the school day. Youth from schools in the north county will also participate. Student organizers have been preparing for this event for weeks and, in a feat most would find difficult, have pledged to remain silent for the entire school day in honor of marginalized students and youth who are unable to speak out against homophobia and anti-LGBT harassment and bullying.
Following the school day events, local youth groups have planned “breaking the silence” events for Friday evening. In Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara City College Queer & Ally Club, supported by the Santa Barbara Equality Project at Pacific Pride Foundation, has planned a silent march and breaking the silence rally beginning at the Santa Barbara Courthouse at 6 PM and continuing down State Street. In Santa Maria, the PROUD youth group is working with Pacific Pride Foundation and GRACE (Gay Rights Advocates for Change and Equality) to gather the community at 5 PM on 100 N. Broadway for a breaking the silence community rally. The public is encouraged to attend both events.