Day of Silence today

This Wednesday, April 18, an unprecedented number of students from more than 4,000 schools across the country will be silent from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Why?

To protest the silencing that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and allied people face involuntarily every day.

It is a protest against the homophobia that silences people from these groups, and against the negative, often violent, consequences that they risk when they break the silence.

Here at the University of Illinois, participants will wear black and a rainbow ribbon and vow to be silent from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

There will be a silent lunch at noon on the Quad and a rally featuring out actor Wilson Cruz of “My So-Called Life” to collectively break the silence at 5 p.m. outside the Union.

Their reasons for participating are varied and many.

Some have experienced the silencing and consequences and want to do something to stop them. It is an act of self-protection.

But many others will do it because they realize that homophobia hurts everyone, not just the people it silences.

Homophobia is just one of the many forms in which oppression manifests.

On a campus tense with debates about privilege, race, sex, gender, class and power, this is one way for all community members to come together.

There are people of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer identity of every race, class, gender, ability, age, religion and political ideology.

And standing together to face the violence perpetrated against them is a statement both about their value as human beings and our confidence in ourselves as compassionate individuals willing to contest senseless violence in all its forms.

Students and others of diverse race, creed, socioeconomic background, age, ability, sexual orientation and gender identity will be participating in the protest this year.

No matter how you identify, we encourage you to do the same. If not for others, do it for yourself.

For more information, contact the coordinator, Bridget Geraghty ([email protected]).

Bridget Geraghty

senior in LAS