Break the silence

Break the silence

Photo by Chase Snyder.

Photo by Chase Snyder.

I think my favorite aspect of Goshen College is how safe it is.

We don’t need to have a Black Student Union or Latino Student Union or any office dedicated to multicultural affairs to ensure that they are addressed. We don’t need women’s groups, because sexism is a bygone ignorance.

We even don’t need a group advocating for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender issues. They have all been discussed, and we have all agreed to live in harmony. Isn’t this socialist, post-racial, post-feminist, post-heteronormative society a wonderful place?

I can’t assume my audience is so ignorant as to not recognize blatant sarcasm when they see it. I am not about to criticize Goshen College for not living up to this ideal, which is arguably unattainable anyway. But I want to point out a few things that are not the non-issues that the popular media (and our constituency) wish they were.

When is the last time you heard someone at this college – which is rumored to have gay dorms and an all-lesbian women’s studies department – speak about an experience as a transgendered man? When was the last time someone expressed joy at being able to talk of her lesbian partner freely on this campus, or elsewhere?

Was this situation public, or were you sitting with them in a dark closet (take the pun as you will) to ensure no eavesdropping?

I make this point for its own sake as well as to advertise the Day of Silence gathering of solidarity, which will take place directly after chapel on Friday at Shrock Plaza. Advocates – the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer advocacy group – is sponsoring this event to promote awareness of the voices that are continuously silenced across the country and here at Goshen College.

We will be handing out pins to wear, and we encourage you to consider the ways you can help break the silence of the L.G.B.T.Q. community.

Jeff Stoesz is a junior English and peace, justice and conflict studies double major from Goshen.

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