Mr. FARR. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in honor of the National Day of Silence, which is tomorrow. This is the 15th year we've commemorated the National Day of Silence, a time when students across the country remain silent for the whole day to draw attention to discrimination toward their LGBT peers.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning youth and their allies face verbal and physical bullying on a daily basis just for being who they are.
In a time when these teens are at a greater risk of suicide and self-harm, we cannot afford to be silent.
I'm proud to say that in my district, queer youth and allies work together to make life better. Many of our middle schools and high schools in my district host student-run gay-straight alliances which create a supportive space so that queer youth do not feel isolated.
I'm proud of my constituents for calling for a stop to harassment of GLBT individuals, and I encourage all Americans to do the same.
I am particularly proud of two high school seniors from my district:
Joaquin Garcia, from Pacific Collegiate School, and Lucy Walters, from Harbor High School, are two of 14 recipients of eQuality Scholarships in honor of their service and leadership within the LGBT community. Joaquin and Lucy are already making a difference in their communities, and I know they will continue making a difference at college.
Though many lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender youth advocates and their straight allies are silent tomorrow, we in Congress must never be silent. It is our job to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.