Task Force commemorates Day of Silence

April 17, 2009

Inga Sarda-Sorensen
Director of Communications
(Office) 646.358.1463
(Cell) 202.641.5592

WASHINGTON, April 17 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force commemorates the 13th annual Day of Silence, sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). Thousands of students nationwide are participating in today’s Day of Silence to bring attention to name-calling, bullying and harassment many youth encounter daily based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender expression/identity.

Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

“The Task Force salutes each and every student participating in this important event. We know that untold numbers of young people arise each day, unsure if their schoolmates will put them through another day of hell, or if a caring adult will intervene to stop the bullying they endure. We must speak out to stop the scourge of anti-LGBT harassment that diminishes all of us, but particularly leaves young people alone, afraid and vulnerable. The recent suicide of 11-year-old Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover in Springfield, Mass., underscores in the most painful way the pressing need for legislation to implement comprehensive safe schools policies and practices that empower all school personnel to stop the bullying. Let's end the silence, name the problem, and get working to solve it. Our kids' lives are at stake.”

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. We do this by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.