National Day of Silence

Floor Speech

Date: May 9, 2023
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. PANETTA. Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize the students and allies who marked the National Day of Silence. On this day, people around the country and in California's 19th Congressional District stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ community by taking a vow of silence.

By doing this, students raise awareness on the challenges and the hurdles that continue to face our LGBTQ youth and their fellow classmates.

One inspiring young leader in my district is Latisha Vivian Chen Gladney from Santa Cruz High School. Latisha explained that it is still a struggle to get their voices heard in their fight for equal rights. Yet, it is through their act of silence that they can represent their community, recognize the people before us who fought for LGBTQ rights, and be reinvigorated to continue our fight to educate future generations.

So thanks to Latisha and others who, through their silence, are giving a voice to so many people and inspiring us in Congress to empower students in our communities, protect them from discrimination and harassment, and to provide the LGBTQ community with the support that they need to feel safe and secure in our classrooms, out in our community, and all across our country.