Today is the National Day of Silence

College Democrats

Although one could argue the acceptance of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community has improved in American society, barriers still exist that prevent many from being able to enjoy basic human rights and fully express themselves.

Some families of GLBT people are unsympathetic, if not flat-out hostile, toward their homosexual family members. This leads some members of the GLBT community to bottle up their true feelings for fear of being expelled from their families — the only people in the world who are supposed to provide love and support in any situation. It is difficult to understand how some people are forced to hold in their true identities for their entire lives. The suicide rate for gay teenagers is two to three times higher than the average teen rate.

Most of us are aware that homosexual people exist, and many of us have friends with different sexual orientations. Just think about what our generation will be able to accomplish if we are all able to support each other and look past this wedge issue.

Support is of utmost importance. A time will come in this country when Americans will realize that we have more important issues outside of people’s bedrooms. However, until that time, we need to make it clear we are all in this world together in mutual support.

Today is the National Day of Silence. Several students around campus, gay and straight, will refrain from speaking for the day in an effort to show their support for the GLBT community.

They will carry a card that describes the reasoning behind their silence. It reads:

“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. My deliberate silence echoes that silence, which is caused by harassment, prejudice and discrimination. I believe that ending the silence is the first step toward fighting these injustices. Think about the voices you are not hearing today. What are you going to do to end the silence?”

We urge all Kent State students to show support for the GLBT community by either participating in the Day of Silence or backing those who do.

The above column was written by Adam Herman, Mike McLaughlin (Stater columnist), Logan Sommers (Stater designer), Matt Sonomore and Kelly Stellrecht on behalf of the College Democrats. Contact them at [email protected].