My Silent Opinion


Ariella Bucio

Those who participated in the Day of Silence had different motivations and groups they were silent for, such as the LGBTQ+ community, women, victims of abuse, refugees and more.

Last month, on April 12, it was the National Day of Silence, an event that around 90 students at Libertyville High School participated in, including myself. I’ve taken part in the Day of Silence every year since entering high school, making this my third year. The past two years, the Day of Silence was based solely around the voices of the LGBTQ+ community, and it wasn’t focused on other marginalized groups. This year, however, the people participating were able to choose which marginalized groups they wanted to be silent for. I decided to stay silent for the LGBTQ+ community and women.

Last year, I made the choice to stay silent the whole day, but as I had a few things to do before and after school this year, I chose to stay silent only when I was on school grounds.

When I arrived to my first period, I was happy to see that four other people were staying silent as well. A few people asked questions that were easy to answer with several quick words written down or a simple nod of the head.

Even though my first period had a good amount of people participating, it wasn’t until my eighth period class that there were again several others participating along with me. Of course, I understand that it’s not typically easy to stay silent for a whole day; I myself love to talk, but it would have been pretty amazing if more than two or three people per class (if that) were participating.

Throughout the day, I had people ask me simple questions about why I participated, just like in my first period. The questions were pretty amazing. They varried from asking why I chose to partake in the Day of Silence to the difficulties of stay silent. Everyone was very accepting of the fact that I was silent for the day. I even had one friend that I have two classes with who said “I know you’re silent today so just nod,” and then proceeded to talk to me and even show me a few memes.

It’s really fantastic that even if there aren’t a whole lot of people that participated, practically everyone that I came across seemed to think it was pretty cool. A few of them even said that they wanted to partake but knew that they would accidently break the vow of silence at some point.

I think some of the best reactions were from a few teachers. I had one teacher who brought up the fact that he had participated in the Day of Silence in previous years, which is pretty cool in my opinion. I also had a substitute who stated that he thought it was awesome that there are students that feel so strongly about something that they’ll stay silent for a whole day.

My favorite reaction was probably on Snapchat. Now, this one guy can be sort of judgemental at times, but when he saw on my Snapchat story that I was going to be silent all day, he asked what groups I was supporting. When I told him, he replied with a simple “cool.” Obviously, this doesn’t seem like a huge deal, but if you knew this person, you would probably understand why I loved their reaction so much.

Finally, I’d like to bring up why I supported the groups I supported. At first, I was thinking of doing all marginalized groups, but then I decided to do the two groups that I’m connected to.

It’s quite simple to see that I’m connected to women as I am a female, so there isn’t much explaining there. Unless, like some people, you want to know why I feel that we are marginalized — now that I could probably write a whole other opinion piece on .

But what about the LGBTQ+ community? The simple answer is that you should meet my friend group. I have several friends who identify as gay, bisexual, pansexual, transgender and asexual. A lot of people that aren’t in the LGBTQ+ community say things like “they just want attention” or “they just haven’t found the right person yet” or even “they’re just sick, they don’t know what they’re doing.” All of those phrases — and plenty more — are extremely harmful towards the people they’re aimed at. Being LGBTQ+ isn’t a choice, and when people are told that they’re broken because of it, it really harms their mental health.

So, in the end, I really hope that more people participate each year, and I really hope that this article shows people how amazing the Day of Silence is. I also hope that this might spark an interest in people to learn more about marginalized groups, and if you have any questions about the two groups I was silent for, I’m always open for questions.