04.21.22

Rep. Takano Introduces Resolution to Establish a National Day of Silence to Bring Attention to Bullying Aimed at LGBTQ+ Students

Riverside, CA – Today, Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) introduced a resolution to establish April 22 as a National Day of Silence to bring attention to the bullying, abuse, harassment, and discrimination aimed the LGBTQ+ students across the country. This resolution is in support of efforts led by GLSEN for many years.

“While the Day of Silence has existed since the 1990s, there is a particular urgency in its message today,” said Rep. Mark Takano. “As we close out another month in the worst legislative year for LGBTQ+ Americans on record, it is clear that the harassment of LGBTQ+ students is not just occurring on a peer-to-peer level. School boards, state legislatures, and the media have become platforms on which the harassment of LGBTQ+ Americans is amplified to a national scale.

“To all the LGBTQ+ young people out there, I hope this day reminds you that you are not alone — there are thousands of people standing with you across the country. You have a right to live as your authentic self without fear. We stand with you against bigotry, we celebrate who you are, and, as President Biden said, we’ve got your back.”

As of April, there are over 320 anti-LGBTQ bills pending in state legislatures across the country, ranging from healthcare bans and barring transgender individuals from participating in sports to discriminatory education bills and legislation on the right to religious refusal. Florida’s recently signed Parental Rights in Education bill, also known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, bans discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity for young elementary school children and severely restricts similar lessons in all grades.

The onslaught of public discourse and vitriol over the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals on the national stage have a particularly severe impact on young members of the community. In the past year, the Trevor Project found that 94% of LGBTQ+ youth reported that national politics had a detrimental impact on their mental health. Nearly half of LGBTQ+ youth report they wanted to seek mental health counseling but were unable to receive it, and 42% of LBG youth seriously considered attempting suicide. As transgender youth face mounting public discussion over their rights to use public bathrooms, participate in school activities, or simply exist in their gender identity, the mental health impacts have been correspondingly severe: over half of transgender young people have seriously considered suicide, and one in five transgender youth have attempted to take their own lives.

No matter where it takes place — whether at home, at school, or on the national stage — the emotional, verbal, and physical abuse must stop. Its effects are not just damaging; they are deadly, and no young person deserves to feel that they are worth less than anyone else.

If you or a loved one are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

  

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