The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Silence coming soon

Three days after April Fool’s Day, it will be time to sober up again. Why? April 4 is the Day of Silence; people all over America will be zipping their lips to make a statement about our culture’s silencing of the queer.

The Day of Silence started at the University of Virginia in 1996 and under the leadership of student Maria Pulzetti became a nationally recognized project. Guilford Pride, our GLBT club on campus, is organizing the day under president Ashley Coleman’s leadership.

“We’re participating in the Day of Silence to increase awareness of the queer community and to acknowledge their voices on this campus and around the world,” says Coleman. “Silence is a form of being loud. The void of people’s voices will be noticed. People are more apt to listen to the silent treatment than yelling in their ears.”

The goal is to get Guilford’s attention, to make an opening for the queer voice. Among the necessary effects is upsetting the bliss of the ignorant. The day will be an annoyance; participation is encouraged to all who feel this is justified.

The day can be seen as a celebration of the vivacity the queer voice adds to every day life. To your consternation, some of your favorite chat friends will just sit there smiling and meditating. April 4th will only be one small glimpse into the catastrophes that would ensue if the queer voice were silenced completely.

We know this day at Guilford will be taxing if survivable. But a fever kills the germs, so on April 4, be sure you’re mum and wearing a sign saying:

“Please understand my reasons for not speaking today. I support lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights. People who are silent today believe that laws and attitudes should be inclusive of people of all sexual orientations. The Day of Silence is to draw attention to those who have been silenced by hatred, oppression, and prejudice. Think about the voices you are not hearing. What can you do to end the silence?”

Some professors will have an extended moment of silence on Wednesday, or a special discussion on the topic of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights. Asked what her program for the day would be, English professor Amanda Bailey, who teaches Readings in Gay and Lesbian Studies, declared, “I’m against the Day.”
“I think there needs to be noise,” Bailey urged. “People are already silent … and the students I find most active on the Day of Silence are often the ones that are the most quiet every day.”

Ghandi agreed, “Nonviolence is a weapon of the strong; for the weak, it may easily be hypocrisy.” That’s a tough philosophical concept, but it implies that at a college where there are plenty of people pushing the envelope with open queerness, creative queerness, loud queerness, the Day of Silence should prove a fresh weapon.

The Day of Silence wants your voice, the bigger the better.

There will be a vigil at 7:15 p.m. concluding the Day of Silence. For information on how you can participate in the Day of Silence, come to Monday’s Pride meeting at 9:00 p.m. in the Resource Center (Dana).

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