Day of Silence events in Alaska

Shh! Friday April 16 is Day of Silence, when students nationwide take a vow of silence to bring attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools. At the end of DoS, Alaska students Break the Silence in Anchorage at the Pride Prom, in Fairbanks with a group scream and Drag Show, and in Juneau at an after-party with the Juneau Pride Chorus.

Hundreds of thousands of students of all beliefs, backgrounds and sexual orientations participate in national Day of Silence to encourage schools and classmates to address the problem of anti-LGBT behavior. Founded in 1996, DoS has become the largest single student-led action towards creating safer schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

DoS occurs during Prom season, and same sex prom dates have been in the news more than usual this year. Some gay and lesbian teens in Alaska go to their school prom with a same sex date, but most don't. They would rather go to an LGBTA prom where they don't have to worry about the kind of anti-gay bullying that Day of Silence highlights. In Anchorage, students break the silence of DoS with the annual Pride Prom.
Break the Silence in Anchorage on Friday at Pride Prom, a hate free dance for ages 14-19. The theme is Gender Bender, but dress up formal or semi-formal however you want. $6 at the door, 6-11 PM at Kincaid Park Chalet.

Break the Silence in Fairbanks at 5pm in the quad in front of the UAF Wood Center for a Break the Silence scream, then gather in the Alumni Office Lounge for food, music, and friends. A Breaking the Silence Drag Show is on Saturday at the Hes Rec in the MBS complex, and the ICOAA's Duchess Dixie will be performing. [Note: The UAF Gay-Straight Alliance won a Diversity Enrichment Award last weekend. Congratulations!]

Break the Silence in Juneau at a DoS after-party in the Juneau-Douglas High School commons from 4-5:15 p.m. with a special guest performance by the Juneau Pride Chorus! Friends and family members are welcome to attend.
Day of Silence is a positive educational experience, but the bigots are in full attack mode. A fake medical group sent anti-gay propaganda to schools around the country to stop DoS. Faux News riled up the tea party protesters by claiming that DoS was wasting tax payer money, although school funds are not spent. Several anti-gay groups tell parents to keep their teens out of school on Day of Silence because they might hear see that many of their peers oppose their anti-gay bigotry. (They're often the kids who need to see it the most.) On the Monday following DoS, these kids are told to preach at school the dangerous lie that gay kids should be ashamed of themselves and should pray-away-the-gay, or at least pretend to be straight. And, no, they are not silent about pushing an anti-gay religious agenda in the public schools.

If you are participating in DoS, check the Day of Silence blog for information and resources like the DoS cards, Your Rights during Day of Silence, 8 Tips for Facing Opposition, Tips for the Last-Minute Organizer, and Four Truths about the Day of Silence.

What are you going to do to break the silence around anti-LGBT bullying and harassment?

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