Opinion » Guest Commentary
For the first time in Ithaca College’s history, two campus organizations are working together to address issues involving discrimination and inequalities the LGBTQ community faces every day. Created Equal and prism have begun working
together to plan the upcoming events for this year’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Questioning Awareness Month. Created Equal and prism are student-run organizations dedicated to serving the LGBTQ and ally communities on this campus.
This month there are many opportunities being offered with a goal to help bring awareness to numerous issues that LGBTQ individuals face on a daily basis, while celebrating the contributions of sexual minorities. In the end, we hope our campus community will become conscious of the discrimination that LGBTQ and allies feel and the effects it can have on their lives. Sticks and stones do break bones, and words can do just as much damage.
It is incredibly easy to be considered an ally for the LGBTQ community. Allies support the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, straight and questioning communities. They pledge to help end discrimination and provide a safe space to every person in need of an ally. Created Equal and prism are incredibly pleased to be able to come together to show our campus community why it is so significant to partake in these events.
One event of particular importance is the National Day of Silence, which the college will observe April 17. On this day the nation protests the discrimination, harassment and abuse-in-effect that silences lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people around the world. Created Equal’s president, Heather Fields, perhaps summed it up best: “It is a day that I am able to show my support for those around me who are forced into silence on a daily basis. By being silent, I hope to show those around me that there are people who accept them.”
Come join prism and Created Equal by sitting in silence in support of eliminating LGBTQ discrimination. There will be students sitting on the quad in a triangle with pink duct tape across their mouths. Rainbow ribbons, a symbol of support for LGBTQ community, will be available at a table in Textor Hall starting Monday. Ithacans are encouraged to pick up a ribbon and wear it in order to show their support.
In addition to the National Day of Silence, the campus community can come down to the Academic Quad at noon Tuesday to see The Unity Banner Project. This project not only celebrates the efforts of prism and Created Equal, but also the unity of Ithaca College as a whole. If students are interested in watching a display about gender discrimination, they are encouraged to come check out a “High Heel Race,” also being held starting Tuesday on the quad.
LGBTQ Awareness month at Ithaca this year offers many opportunities to learn about and celebrate the unique contributions and experiences of sexual minority people. These opportunities include guest speakers, film screenings, facilitated discussions, theatrical and musical guests and much more. Students are encouraged to seek out these opportunities to show support and learn how some fellow students, faculty and staff fall victim to discrimination because of who they are.
For more information about Gaypril events visit the LGBT center’s Web site at www.ithaca.edu/sacl/lgbt.
Catherine E. Kirchhoff is a sophomore occupational therapy major. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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