Community participates in national Day of Silence

By Jessie Holeva
April 24, 2008

Megan Pellegrino

Imagine never knowing your best friend or your sibling for who they really are. Or think of a life without letting the people you care for most know your sexual identity.

Students and faculty ate lunch, did work and went about their day in complete silence on April 25.

The Day of Silence, what these supporters were observing, was a day to give up having a voice for a day, a silent protest. It’s to represent the gay, bisexual or transgendered that don’t have the voice to come out and show their true selves.

To celebrate the day, a film documenting real people who have been harassed for their sexual orientation was shown in Founder’s Hall. The movie was followed by a group discussion.

The heartfelt movie captured victims of hate and their unfortunate stories. These individual situations were of school violence, being turned away by the church and families kicking out their gay children leading to homeless living.

Bill Monahan, a sophomore English and communication major, had a large role in planning the day of silence festivities as did Counseling Services, including an informative table in founders and the marketplace, as well as a silent lunch table.

The Day of Silence began 12 years ago after students of the University of Virginia wanted to create a way to put attention on the bullying going on at the campus pertaining to gay, bisexual and transgendered students.

“I’ve been trapped in that silence before,” Monahan said.

Monahan is an openly gay student who has gotten a lot of positive feedback since the article about the gay community on campus which was written by Jonathan Barnett and Christopher R. Blake was published earlier this year in the Loquitur.

“You need to recognize that there are people that can not be as outspoken,” Monahan said.

That’s exactly what the day of silence is for. It’s to give those living with the secret a day to be recognized; that it is okay.

The people involved in the day were not necessarily gay or bisexual. Allies, referring to those who stand up for those of a particular community or background, came out both to the film screening and silent lunch.

An ally should be open minded, respectful and act as a support system, according to those running the event.

Monahan is hoping to eventually have a Gay- Straight Alliance (GSA) on the campus of Cabrini. Together with supporters and Counseling Services this may be a reality soon.

For more information on the day of silence visit dayofsilence.org.

Jessie Holeva

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