The Day of Silence, a national event where LGBT students and their supporters take a vow of silence to protest the suppression of youth voices, took place on Friday. The event began in 1996 at the University of Virginia. Since then, the project has spread to middle schools, high schools, and universities all over the nation.
Participants in the Day of Silence at Harvard stood outside the Science Center at noon with duct tape over their mouths, holding signs that read "All you need is love" and "Harvard is proud to be diverse."
Harvard College Queer Students and Allies Political Committee Chair Samuel J. Bakkila '11-'12, who participated in the protest, said that the event was important because "people assume prematurely that the battle is over."
"The Day of Silence really has two messages: It's about solidarity, support, community, and also to call attention to the homophobia that still exists. Harvard is a bubble that protects against a lot of things, like homophobia, but there are people with very different experiences," Bakkila said.
Levi Roth, a protester at the event, said that it was his first time using silence as a tool to convey a message.
"I was nervous about it at first. It feels more conspicuous than talking. Everyone who has anything to say shouts it with bullhorns and vuvuzuelas and loud music. The silence just feels different. We were getting a lot of attention," Roth said.