What I Want People to Remember During the Day of Silence


Wheeler Cowperthwaite

Courtesy Wheeler Cowperthwaite

Michelle Wei, Blogger

Masters is participating in the Day of Silence. And I’m frustrated.

I love and support the intention behind the day, but in execution, people fail to recognize and remember that motive. Obviously, there will always be students who take advantage of the day to evade participating, without the purpose of supporting the marginalized LGBTQ+ community.

When I first heard that Masters would participate in last year’s Day of Silence, I was excited and more than willing to help organize and facilitate the day. Going in, I knew that some students would use their participation in the day as an excuse. Yet, when the day ended, I thought to myself, it turned out much worse than I expected. The most frustrating thing was not that people were abusing trust, but that those who were genuinely participating treated it less like it should have been and more like it was a game. Friends and classmates were making almost a comedic mock of the purpose of participating; writing on whiteboards and pieces of paper to communicate without verbally voicing it. As I understand, the purpose of participating is to experience the struggle of not being able to communicate emotions, in any form. To make a whole class watch as someone writes on a whiteboard defeats that purpose entirely. Not communicating verbally is still communicating. Sure, this makes for a rather unproductive school day, especially if multiple students in a small class are doing it simultaneously. But that’s the point! Not communicating prohibits anyone from performing at their best or being honest and clear with the people in their environment. And the whole purpose of the Day of Silence, as I understand, is to emulate that feeling. So, if on Friday, classes are not productive and students feel frustrated and restrained, then the Day of Silence has achieved its goal. If students are still getting their message across, then their participation doesn’t actually emulate the intention behind what it’s supposed to.

Whether or not the Day of Silence should be hosted at Masters if most students are only mocking it and using it as an excuse is debatable. Still, if it fails to do anything else, the Day of Silence brings awareness to an issue often neglected by many, otherwise.

To conclude, I want participants to stop taking advantage of teacher’s and administration’s trust in our genuine intentions, and to take it not as a game but to participate to try and emulate the vexation that I imagine the LGBTQ+ community feels on a daily basis.