Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be silenced? To be looked at as an outcast or to have to keep a secret so important that you feel as though you can tell no one?
For many teens that identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender (LGBT), the reality of that secret is very real. Everyday members of the LGBT community feel as though they cannot come out. The Pride Alliance, an on-campus club that helps to break down the barriers between communities, will hold their annual Day of Silence on Friday, April 11 to show their support for this silenced group.
Starting three years ago with the beginning of the club, the Day of Silence is a way in which students can participate to replicate what it is like to feel the way the LGBT community feels. Katie Patrick, the president and founder of Pride Alliance, feels as though this day is extremely important.
“The ‘Day of Silence is for people who are silenced by anti-LGBT bullying,” said Patrick. “What it is saying is we are silenced for those who are silenced. I really like when outgoing people, like me, sign up for the Day of Silence. I think it has a whole lot of meaning.”
Over the last three years, the reception of this day has been more than good. After a whole day of silence, all the students who participate meet in the Union to discuss what the day meant to them. According to Erica Cadavid, the secretary of the Pride Alliance, every year a lot of students are extremely receptive of the day. Cadavid, a senior, feels as though students should feel what it is like to be in someone else’s shoes for a day.
“In light of things that have happened, I think it is specifically important this year,” said Cadavid about the ‘Cheney incident’ that took place last semester, when a LGBT panel, which came to speak to a class, was ridiculed while eating dinner.
“I think it is important because unless you experience [discrimination] you have no idea what it is like; it is important to feel both sides, because sometimes people are causing the silence and they don’t know it.”
Although not talking for a whole day may seem unappealing to some or not worth it to others, the success of this day is measured by the number of people who participate. Don’t be afraid to feel how someone else feels by being silent on April 11.