Stand Up In Silence April 20 to End GLBT Oppression

Jose Orozco
The Paw Print

Over the last month or so of print, several articles have been written around the issues of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender issues. These articles have included everything from the extremely high rates of suicide found among this group, to the institutionalized discrimination that was vividly demonstrated on Campus by the FDA during the Cezar Chavez Blood Drive. What about all the issues you don’t hear of? The issues that are silenced for reasons of fear, intolerance, hate, and misunderstanding.

Photo Courtesy of Young woman participating in the National Day of Silence.

When it comes to the issue of suicide, sure there may have been a lot of press surrounding the issue, but still a lot of silence being heard. If you listen you can hear the voices of all the GLBT teens and adults who have taken their own lives because they felt it was one of the only ways to be free of oppression and hurt. In an article published by the American Journal of Public Health June, 2001, the article states, “Stigma and discrimination affect the health of LGBT people in many ways. Direct routes are easily discernible: they include exposure to violence and discrimination and poor clinical care. Indirect routes are invisible but more pervasive: they include inadequate attention to health concerns of LGBT people because of stereotype thinking, lack of attention to LGBT health issues because they affect only a relatively small number of people, and lack of knowledge and insensitivity regarding the cultural concerns of LGBT people.” Even the department of Public Health has understood the oppression experienced by GLBT individuals and if nothing else, has brought attention to this extremely marginalized minority group.
Participating in the National Day of Silence (DOS) by taking a vow of silence allows us to call attention to the silencing of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools. DOS was founded in 1996 and has become one of the single largest student led actions toward creating safer schools for all. The first DOS was held at the University of Virginia and has spread to over 8,000 middle,  high school, and college campuses around the U.S. According to Lambda legal and LGBT legal representative group, “under the constitution, public schools must respect students’ right to free speech. The right to speak includes the right to not speak, as well as the right to wear buttons or t-shirts expressing support for a cause.” But this right may be compromised in the classroom, “If a teacher tells a student to answer a question during class, the student generally doesn’t have a constitutional right to refuse to answer.” This is why a campus wide campaign would be important into understanding social projects such as this.
The website,, has several references available to those wanting to learn more. Some truths about the DOS are that 1) it is important, and one reason why is because nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT students experience harassment at school and this event brings to light such experiences. 2) It brings awareness to the “Language of Hate” found on most school campuses, with words such as “Fag” and “Dyke” which compromise the free expression of some individuals. 3) Social projects such as DOS encourage school campuses to implement solutions to the anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment. 4) DOS is a positive educational experience for those working toward improving school climate for all students.
For a topic of major concern, one would think that a large campaign would be held across campus, but the truth is, the oppression has taken a strong hold on the ASC campus. You will not see any tables promoting the event or any publicity on DOS. Remember DOS is to signify oppression of LGBT individuals, the invisible issue. If you would like to stand up and shout out by staying silent, you can show your support by wearing a black t-shirt and staying silent. If you would like to find out more you can visit the or you can speak with Isabel Medina-Keiser, ASC’s diversity officer on the first floor of Neilson Library. Take a stand, use your voice by losing your voice for one day, remember injustice anywhere means injustice everywhere. Show your support for histories most extremely oppressed and marginalized minority group by taking a vow of silence on Friday, April 20. is powered by WordPress µ | Spam prevention powered by Akismet