The Day of Silence at WMMHS

The Day of Silence is a national event organized by GLSEN. Image via GLSEN.

The Day of Silence is a national event organized by GLSEN. Image via GLSEN.

Ryan Nelson and Amelia Payne, Staff Writers

This is an opinion article piece. Ryan Nelson and Amelia Payne are students at Mendham News. All opinions expressed in the following editorial are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Patriot. 

On Friday, April 23, LGBTQ+ students and allies at Mendham participated in a Day of Silence to stand against homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of discrimination faced by the community (GLSEN). Created in the 90s, the idea of a Day of Silence has transformed into a national event to honor the struggles of the LGBTQ+ community (GLSEN). At Mendham, the day involved students staying silent for the entire school day and later “breaking the silence” at a rally during the last period of school. 

I think that the event went better than I could’ve ever imagined,” says Madeline Adinolfi, the freshman responsible for getting the current GSA (Gender/Sexuality Alliance) started. After discussing LGBTQ+ issues with classmates Amanda Stern and Josephine Piester, Maddie proposed the idea of a GSA club– the one in past years had disbanded due to lack of interest. Ms. Gillmett, an English teacher at Mendham, had told Maddie that “if she wanted to write up a proposal and start a club, [she] would volunteer as the faculty advisor” and from that point forward “the rest is history.” Maddie reports that around 45-50 people participated in the event, around the same amount of people that are currently in the GSA.

Ms. Gillmett and Maddie believe that the club has made a comeback this year out of necessity, as there is now a significant community of LGBTQ+ and allies that benefit from support and advocacy. The major goal of the Day of Silence was to bring attention to the silencing of the LGBTQ+ community, historically and in the present. As students who are open members of the LGBTQ+ community, having the school participate in such an event speaks volumes. It was incredibly inspiring to see so many supportive faces, and it only supported the conviction that there is still so much in store for the club and school as a whole.

“You are welcome to come to every meeting, most meetings, or just drop in when you can!” says Ms. Gillmett to anyone who is considering joining the GSA. If you can attend in person, the club meets in room 133 if you are remote, you can always attend using the Classroom meet link. Meetings are on Wednesdays during lunch, but this will likely change next year due to overlap with other clubs. You can be added to the classroom page through an ‘interest email’ to either Ms. Gillmett or Maddie.