Jesse Gilliam co-founded the Day of Silence in 1996 when an undergraduate at the University of
Virginia. For eight years he worked on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth issues as well as HIV/AIDS issues working at places such as Advocates for Youth, where he managed the GLBT Initiatives program, and Lifelong AIDS Alliance in Seattle, Washington, where he served as the Public Policy Manager. A 2005 Point Scholar
, Jesse received a Point Foundation scholarship to support him in receiving his Master's degree in public policy and women's studies from the George Washington University. Jesse currently lives in Seattle and continues work with public policy and community organizing as Legislative Aide to Seattle City Council President Sally J. Clark.