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Breaking the Silence with GLSEN: “My Silence, My Story”

Eating Recovery Center and Pathlight Mood & Anxiety Center are proud to announce our partnership with GLSEN, the nation's leading nonprofit supporting equity in LGBTQIA K-12 education, for the Day of Silence Protest on April 23, 2021. This year’s theme is “My Silence, My Story.”

What began in the 1990s with two college students has grown to reach hundreds of thousands of students and allies from all over the world. Together they take a pledge of silence each year to draw attention to the harassment and exclusion of LGBTQIA students in the classroom.

ERC Pathlight recognizes that LGBTQIA persons experience discrimination because of their gender and identity, and that greatly impacts their mental health. We understand that equity in education for LGBTQIA students is crucial for mental wellbeing, building positive self-esteem, and emotional health. That’s why we are proud to partner with GLSEN and support them in their National Day of Silence.

Why we are going silent at ERC and Pathlight

LGBTQIA inclusive care is vital for all of our community to thrive and live in mental wellbeing, and we are committed to supporting our LGBTQIA staff, patients, and community.

“At ERC and Pathlight, it is important to provide a safe, inclusive and healing space for every patient who walks through our doors. We’re taking a moment of silence in our centers to think about what actions we can take to be strong allies and how we can continue to educate ourselves to support the LGBTQIA community, both in and outside of our centers.” - Anne Marie O’Melia, MS, MD, Chief Medical and Clinical Officer

National LGBTQIA Mental Health Advocate and host of “Queen & Sober,” Eric Dorsa, shared with us why they are going silent: “Currently, trans and LGBTQ students all across the country are at the risk of losing basic human rights when it comes to education and healthcare. It is important now more than ever that we speak up to the injustice and discrimination that children are facing because of prejudice. It is important that all youth know that they are not alone.”

Why this matters

School should be safe for all students regardless of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, ability, and religion. In GLSEN’s recent National School Climate Survey, students from across the country were asked about their experience with their education and their identity. Nearly 90% of LGBTQIA students experienced harassment and assault based on their identity. Also, LGBTQIA students missed more school, had lower GPAs and attended fewer school functions because of discrimination around their identity.

GLSEN’s work makes a difference

In this same survey LGBTQIA students who have a  Gender and Sexuality Alliance in their school, experience lower levels of harassment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender expression, experience more support from fellow students and staff, and feel a “greater sense of belonging to their school."

GLSEN says that, “Every student has the right to a safe, supportive, and LGBTQ-inclusive K-12 education. We are a national network of educators, students, and local GLSEN Chapters working to make this right a reality.” GLSEN works to create inclusive classrooms by supporting educators, advocating for inclusive and affirming curriculum, passing policies that ensure the safety of LGBTQIA students, and supporting student organizations such as GSAs.

How you can get involved

We invite you to join us and get involved on April 23, 2021! Join ERC and Pathlight and GLSEN along with students from all over the world and find an hour where you can sit in silence and reflect on why you are going silent.

Support this initiative on social media to raise awareness of Day of Silence. You can post a story, a video or the linked graphic to your social media page along with why you too are going silent with the hashtag #DayOfSilence.

You can write your senator to pass the Equality Act and end discrimination here on GLSEN’s website.

Lastly, you can join GLSEN for their “Break The Silence Rally” live on April 23, 2021 on their Instagram or their Facebook pages at 7 p.m. EST. 

dr anne marie o'melia
eric dorsa
LGBTQ

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