GLSEN's Virtual Day of Silence Features Black, Bisexual, Trans Man JP Grant
COVID-19 is impacting every facet of American life, including GLSEN's annual Day of Silence. For 25 years, LGBTQ students and their allies have led demonstrations all around the country—and the world—to take a vow of silence to protest the harmful effects of harassment and discrimination of LGBTQ people in schools. This year the demonstrations are moving online and Boston, Massachusetts student, JP Grant, 18, is at the forefront.
He’s an artist, an aspiring educator, and a bisexual trans man who also identifies as non-binary in regards to how he expresses his gender. JP became involved with his school Gay Straight Alliance (GSA), and eventually the GSLEN National Student Council, because he “really needed something where [he] felt belonging”.
Because of COVID-19, JP’s final year of school has been cut short. There’ll be no graduation, no prom, no saying goodbye to his friends before heading off to college.
“It’s really sad because I don’t get to have those same memories,” he says.
Lockdown measures have also left him worried for his mother, a nurse, and for his scheduled top surgery in the summer, which is now looking uncertain.
Despite dealing with these personal issues, JP remains dedicated to lifting the voices of others, and will be spending Friday hard at work organising and campaigning online.
“We’re going 100% virtual,” he explains. “We’re gonna actually have some friends there [for Day of Silence], we have celebrities coming in to join us and honour and celebrate the work that we’re doing.”
Today, April 24, 2020 is GLSEN's Annual Day of Silence. The organization will hold a national online rally at 5:30p.m. EST.