Students stay silent in support of LGBT

Elise Franco

It takes dedication and will-power to be completely silent for 17 hours straight, but yesterday, a countless number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students and their allies did just that.

The 11th annual Day of Silence took place yesterday on high school and college campuses all over the country.

Although it’s unknown exactly how many Kent State students participated in the Day of Silence, members of the Queer Liberation Front and PRIDE!Kent did their part.

The QLF set up a table on the second floor of the Kent Student Center during the afternoon. They handed out black swatches and cards that read, “Please understand my reasons for not speaking today. I am participating in the Day of Silence, a national youth movement protesting the silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies. …”

April Templeman, co-chair of QLF and Katie Troha, a member of QLF, sat quietly handing out the small, but meaningful pieces of paper. They communicated by writing notes. Other participants used e-mail and text messaging.

Troha, sophomore applied conflict management major, said the table was an important part of the day.

“We wanted to let people know about the Day of Silence even if they didn’t want to take part,” she said. “We wanted to let them know why it happens, why it’s important and why being interested in LGBT issues is important.”

Templeman said they reached a good number of people with the table.

“We definitely had people coming up and asking if they could participate,” she said. “At one point I even went outside the Student Center and handed out the cards.”

Templeman’s main focus was to reach those who didn’t know about the Day of Silence then educate them about the significance of it.

To Troha, the Day of Silence meant showing support for those who have been victims because of their sexual orientation.

“(The Day of Silence) shows support for anyone who has been through a violent experience,” she said. “Participating shows them they’re not alone.”

Troha was not able to participate for the full day, but she said it still held the same meaning for her.

“It was my first year, and when I heard about it I just really wanted to do it,” she said.

Josh Sebrasky, co-chair of QLF, said this year was also his first year participating and because of his status in QLF, he felt it set a good example for other members.

“Besides that, this was a way to commemorate those who have been silenced and at the same time stand up for those who continue to live in silence,” he said.

Contact minority affairs reporter Elise Franco at [email protected].