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A day to stay quiet

It’s the tears that fall on a lunch tray while teachers pretend to not hear the insults.

It’s the awkward pause as a mother gives up on the idea of grandchildren.

It’s the indecision between whether to use the girl’s or the boy’s restroom.

It’s a late-night prayer just to be normal.It’s the proverbial closet door never opened and the truth never uttered because of fear.

It’s tombstones engraved with the names of Matthew Shepard, Ryan Keith Skipper, Gwen Arajuo and others like them, silenced forever.

Sometimes it’s the silences that hurt more than all the hateful words in the world. Students across the country will be speaking up by shutting up: The 11th Annual Day of Silence, on Wednesday will be held to protest the harassment faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and those who support them.

According to, participants will wear stickers and pass out “speaking cards” with the following statement:

“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, transgender people and their allies. My deliberate silence echoes that silence, which is caused by harassment, prejudice and discrimination. I believe that ending the silence is the first step towards fighting these injustices. Think about the voices you are not hearing today. What are you going to do to end the silence?”

USF PRIDE Alliance will have “hate” walls from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. outside Cooper Hall and the Phyllis P. Marshall Center. They are also planning a silent lunch outside the Phyllis P. Marshall Center with food provided for participants.

At 4 p.m. there will be a rally at MLK Plaza to break the silence, with performances by various artists.